Fortuna Parks & Rec shoots off the Fortuna Hot Shots Basketball season

Heather Nyberg-Schlotzhauer

Beacon Correspondent

The Fortuna Parks and Recreation Department kicked off the first weekend of their Hot Shots Basketball Program. The program is open to boys and girls in kindergarten through 4th grade. The first weekend of games shot off with a 9 a.m. team introduction, practice, and distribution of team shirts on Jan. 28, 2012.

The program highlights basketball techniques, basic rules of the game, while encouraging fun playing sports. Focus is also put on the development of social skills which are crucial in the future success of youth as they interact with teammates, friends, teachers, coaches, and society.

The program runs for six weeks, on Saturdays only. Coaches are donating their time to interact and develop the social and athletic abilities of the participating youth. The program is a great opportunity for kids to come together and pick up some basic skills while learning to follow rules and interact with other individuals.

As the first day of games bounced by, an ocean of smiles filled the room while loved ones called out cheers of support and pride. By the end of a 30-minute, non-score-keeping game, the players already showed an increased level of understanding and excitement for the sport.

Several coaches ran drills during practice, and throughout the casual game the coaches could be heard blowing the whistle to stop the game and share some pointers.

Obesity in youth has been an increasing problem in our society. Community programs like this are a great way to introduce sports and increase activity. Organizers encourage providing a healthy snack after the event and water during to promote healthy eating and safe exercise habits.

For more information regarding the Fortuna Hot Shots Basketball Program contact the Fortuna Parks & Rec at 725-7620 or email

photo captions:

photos by Heather Nyberg-Schlotzhauer/Beacon

1. Hot Shots Team Green is working on offense while Team Brown is applying their newly found defensive tools taught during pre game practice.

2. Janet Weed, assistant coach to Team Brown Co-Coaches Sue Long and her son Derek Long, runs down the court to assist players with skills as they are using them during the first Hot Shot games last Saturday.

3. "Derek Long sets his team for defensive drills during his pre game practice before taking on the high energy Green Team in their first game.

4. Team Green uses their speed and agility to fast break through Team Brown leaving some players off balance as they apply their newly learned defensive skills.