Early Years of Youth Basketball In Portage
Submitted by: Bob Miller
Cost was $3.00 for first boy, $1.50 for additional boys
VM - October 21, 1969
1969/70 Kipper Team
Portage HS sports fans may recognize names of Mark Evans and Mary Devyak; starting quarterback and middle linebacker on PHS’ only state football championship (1977)
During the 1970/1 season PYB players would play before the Fabulous Magicians
VM - October 15, 1970
Sammie Maletta was now league president and costs had increased to $5/$3
VM - October 14, 1971
In background you can see a Junior League game (9/10 year old) warming up, playing cross court at Aylesworth Junior High.
Sam Radivan was a long time coach in youth basketball.
Starting in Biddy Basketball and then PYB
1972/3 Maletta team
Senior League Regular Season and Tourney Champs.
Portage residents will also recall Sammie Maletta as Portage’s Mayor.
1972/3 Senior League All Stars
Portage Press February 22, 1973
1972/3 Junior League Tourney Champs
1972/3 Junior League White Division All Stars
1972/3 Stout Team
As the caption says Chuck was the first former player to come back and coach. He is shown earlier on the championship Seebauer team during the 1962/3 season.
Costs had increased
VM - September 1973
During the 80s, Portage YMCA began sponsoring an alternative league with several divisions, though smaller in number than PYB. Interestingly, the YMCA league was started by 1st/2nd year player Bruce Lindner and one of the coaches in the league was Jim Samuel. The clipping below is from 1994. A review of press articles in 1996 reveals that in 1996 PYB had 75 teams (recall 10 in the first season). The league had 43 boys teams (Senior, Junior and Iddy Biddy: 4-6 year olds), 22 girls teams (same divisions) and a rookie instructional league. The YMCA had 3 divisions (by age) with 4 teams in each division. 87 teams playing youth basketball in 1996. One of the League Presidents in the 90s was Chuck Shields who played Biddy Basketball in the 60s and was on the 1965/6 All Star team that competed in the state tournament in Portage. Chuck was also a member of the PHS varsity teams that won sectionals in 1971 and 72.
Times January 9, 1994
Girls All-star tournament
Times February 14, 1996