“Things are going great,” director Jeff Hulsey said. “This is the biggest year we’ve had participation wise in recreation basketball.”
Hulsey noted that this is the eighth year of basketball at the recreation department and they have grown drastically since year one.
“The first year we had 34 kids,” Hulsey said. “This season we have 163 children ranging in ages from four to 12. We have 21 teams, which is the max limit we can have with us only having two facilities.”
Hulsey said the league, which plays on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, will play a total of 88 games this season.
Not only are numbers up for children playing basketball, but the recreation department also has a high number of volunteers.
“We have 42 volunteer coaches this year,” Hulsey said. “We actually had a few more that approached us at the last minute wanting to coach and we had to turn them away. We would love to have more volunteers, but they have to let us know in plenty of time because they have to attend a clinic.”
Hulsey also noted how the recreation department is growing across the board.
“The recreation department as a whole is exploding,” Hulsey said. “And if we didn’t have these volunteer coaches we wouldn’t be able to handle the growth. These volunteers help us so much, without them none of this would be possible.”
Hulsey said it’s not only children from Rockmart that are participating in the recreation league.
“We have kids from Cedartown and all over Polk County who play in our league,” Hulsey said.
The veteran director sees nothing to slow down the success of the league as they finish out the season.
“We’re looking for a good rest of the year,” Hulsey said. “I encourage people to come out and watch them.”
The Georgia Recreation and Parks Association (GRPA) District tournaments will begin on Feb. 16. The nine and 10-year-old boys will play in Gordon County, the nine and 10-year-old girls will play in Calhoun and the 11-and-12-year-old boys will play in Summerville.