August 16, 2022
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Photos submitted by Gabby Newton/Muleshoe Youth Basketball League

The Muleshoe Youth Basketball League will host a tournament this weekend.

The youth league All-Star teams will host teams from Farwell, Sudan, Friona, Morton, Shallowater and Portales for three days of basketball. The teams include kids from third through sixth grades.

The teams will play across Muleshoe ISD gyms from April 1-3. Times and locations depend on bracket placement.

It’s a big deal, said Gabby Newton, president of the Muleshoe Youth Basketball League (MYBL), because the league has been working toward growth for a tournament for years and that goal is finally coming to fruition.

The year Newton took over, there were 89 participants involved in the MYBL. Three years later, there are 253 participants.

“Every year, we grow a little bit more,” Newton said.

When she started with the league, the board had a goal to recruit more players and to get large enough to host a tournament so local kiddos would have a chance at some competition beyond themselves. After all, Newton noted, the kids filling out the MYBL jerseys could very well go on to wear the Muleshoe High School Varsity jerseys a few years from now.

“We are ultimately really building our future Muleshoe Mules and Lady Mules,” Newton said. “These kids are going to be the same kids that play in our athletic program.”

The little league teaches fundamentals and helps kids in those participating grade levels build on their skills and just get better.

The MYBL includes participants from even younger age groups. Only the third through sixth grade division participants are eligible to make it to the All-Star level of play. The All-Star teams are made up of players nominated by coaches throughout the league. Each coach nominates five players – they don’t have to be on that coach’s team – and roster is filled with those who receive the most votes.

Those are the Muleshoe players who will face players from six other towns this weekend.

Admission is $2. There will be concessions available. The concessions will be sold to raise money for the MYBL, said Newton. That funding will be used to help more interested kids participate in the league in the future.

MYBL is a nonprofit organization funded solely by participation fees each year. That’s another reason the league wants to drum up some support, Newton said.

Those who wear their MYBL shirts from this year will be able to enter the games for free.

“We’re really trying to cultivate a good energy with our kids,” said Newton, whose twin boys play in the league and were chosen to continue play in the All-Star round.

Newton, who is a former local basketball player herself (a former Lady Mule), said basketball offers a positive healthy outlet. It’s also a fun way to stay active.

So far, she and the board have been blown away by the support for the league.

The board’s original goal was to host a tournament sometime in the next five years. The time’s been cut in half with this tournament, which is outstanding, Newton noted.

 She hopes the community turns out to watch.

Ellysa Harris

Muleshoe Journal


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