"I saw some things I wanted to change. I just decided to kind of do my own thing," he said, stressing that there are no tryouts to become a player in Foothill Hoops and that each player will play half of each game.
In addition to getting a trophy and playing on the court before watching a Sparks game, players get to attend a coaching clinic led by Craig Impelman, former assistant basketball coach at UCLA and grandson-in-law to famous former UCLA coach John Wooden.
Young's fun-filled approach seems to be working, as 275 children ages 4 to 14 signed up to play in the program's first year. Players came from different Foothill communities, including La Crescenta, La Cañada, Glendale, Tujunga and Pasadena.
Young said already 320 boys and girls have signed up this year to join the league, which will have open sign-ups at 10:30 a.m. June 12 at the gym at 4490 Cornishon Ave. in La Cañada.
"We've been real excited," Young said of the participation. "It's been almost overwhelming."
According to its Web site-www.foothillhoops.org-the organization divides players into three conferences. The 4- and 5-year-olds play in the Dribblers' conference, the 6- to 11-year-olds play in the Youth conference, and the 12- to 14-year-olds play in the Junior High conference. Young said each conference stresses different skills, such as confidence in younger players and specific abilities in older players.
"It's kind of a graduated system. As they get older, it changes," Young said. "As the kids move from each division we add things."