Jr. Jazz is the official youth basketball program of Utah Jazz, with tens of thousands of kids participating annually in Utah and surrounding states. The program emphasizes teamwork, sportsmanship, and fundamental basketball skills for kids in first through eighth grades. It engages parents in positive participation as coaches, referees, administrators and leaders.

Kanab, Orderville and Fredonia each have Jr. Jazz programs. Nearly 200 kids participated this season. Practices and games were held at the new North Event Center in Orderville (a fine asset with two courts), the old Kanab Middle School, and Fredonia Elementary School.

Most of the participants were registered online through the new website www.kanecountyrecreation.com/sports. Several parents commented how helpful this was. Tyler Cornell, Director of Recreation, appreciates the volunteers who run this program. They take time out of their busy schedules to organize the program and help the kids learn. He gives a lot of credit to Laura Sherwood, who oversees the Jr. Jazz program.

Chelsea Perkins, who ran Jr. Jazz in Kanab for first and second grade kids, changed the program this year so there was more practice time and more game time. It worked well. She is proud of how the kids did.

Angie Cox ran the Orderville program and plans to do a follow-up “Fun Shot” competition again this year. Last year, six kids went to Salt Lake City to compete in this fun Jr. Jazz event.

Amanda Waters girls’ Jr. Jazz program in Fredonia had 30 kids.

Proud parent Josh Adams, with kids ages six and 11 playing, said it was a really good season. He likes Jr. Jazz because it keeps kids involved, provides social interaction outside school and teaches kids discipline. Adams stated a unique aspect this year was the older boys had female coaches for the first time. His son Landon really liked basketball and really liked his coach, Becky Glover.

Lisha Little, a parent and key volunteer, said, “Tyler Cornell was my daughter’s coach this year and he made sure everyone got at least two quarters of playing time, whether they were great ball players or not – just like Jr. Jazz rules state. It was a great experience for my daughter. It not only built her self-confidence, but she learned many new things about the game of basketball.”

Cornell felt the overall season went really well. “The kids learned a lot and they had fun, which is the most important part.” He wants to thank all the kids, coaches, parents, and those officiating. The next Jr. Jazz season will start in November.