SM East basketball coach focuses on building youth leagues to help high school program

SM East girls basketball program players at a team camp at Emporia State University this summer.
SM East girls basketball program players at a team camp at Emporia State University this summer.

Austin Klumpe has coached a single official game for SM East’s women’s basketball team — but the first year skipper is already putting plans in motion to revitalize the program by reaching potential players years before they make it to high school.

Klumpe is organizing a new program targeting area third-through-eighth graders to join youth teams. It’s an attempt by Klumpe, who joined SM East this spring, to identify talented players early and ensure they’re ready for high school play when they arrive at 7500 Mission Road.

“Our youth program will be the foundation for our success,” Klumpe said. “We want our youth to develop a passion and enthusiasm for the game of basketball.”

Klumpe is presently recruiting students to register for youth winter league ball. The registration deadline is Friday, Oct. 11. There will also be a summer league, with registration opening in January. Klumpe says his goal is to recruit 100 youth league players in the next two years.

“By practicing and playing, they develop the fundamentals and skills necessary to compete at a high level,” he said. “They also learn how to handle adversity, pressure, and to be a great teammate.  Consistent terminology and continuity amongst all levels is also essential, which will pay dividends as they enter high school.”

For information on the youth leagues and SM East girls basketball, visit the team’s website or download the registration flier here.