Addition of Outdoor Basketball and Tennis Courts Makes SYS an Even Bigger Draw - 27 East

Addition of Outdoor Basketball and Tennis Courts Makes SYS an Even Bigger Draw

icon 13 Photos
Kiki Kieffer from Southampton is a fourth grader playing up on the fifth-sixth grade SYS team.   RYAN MOORE PHOTOS

Kiki Kieffer from Southampton is a fourth grader playing up on the fifth-sixth grade SYS team. RYAN MOORE PHOTOS

The outdoor youth summer league at SYS has been very popular, with more than 130 players from grades three through eight across the East End participating. RYAN MOORE PHOTOS

The outdoor youth summer league at SYS has been very popular, with more than 130 players from grades three through eight across the East End participating. RYAN MOORE PHOTOS

The outdoor youth summer league at SYS has been very popular, with more than 130 players from grades three through eight across the East End participating. RYAN MOORE PHOTOS

The outdoor youth summer league at SYS has been very popular, with more than 130 players from grades three through eight across the East End participating. RYAN MOORE PHOTOS

The outdoor youth summer league at SYS has been very popular, with more than 130 players from grades three through eight across the East End participating.  RYAN MOORE PHOTOS

The outdoor youth summer league at SYS has been very popular, with more than 130 players from grades three through eight across the East End participating. RYAN MOORE PHOTOS

The outdoor youth summer league at SYS has been very popular, with more than 130 players from grades three through eight across the East End participating. RYAN MOORE PHOTOS

The outdoor youth summer league at SYS has been very popular, with more than 130 players from grades three through eight across the East End participating. RYAN MOORE PHOTOS

The outdoor youth summer league at SYS has been very popular, with more than 130 players from grades three through eight across the East End participating. RYAN MOORE PHOTOS

The outdoor youth summer league at SYS has been very popular, with more than 130 players from grades three through eight across the East End participating. RYAN MOORE PHOTOS

The outdoor youth summer league at SYS has been very popular, with more than 130 players from grades three through eight across the East End participating. RYAN MOORE PHOTOS

The outdoor youth summer league at SYS has been very popular, with more than 130 players from grades three through eight across the East End participating. RYAN MOORE PHOTOS

The outdoor youth summer league at SYS has been very popular, with more than 130 players from grades three through eight across the East End participating. RYAN MOORE PHOTOS

The outdoor youth summer league at SYS has been very popular, with more than 130 players from grades three through eight across the East End participating. RYAN MOORE PHOTOS

The outdoor youth summer league at SYS has been very popular, with more than 130 players from grades three through eight across the East End participating. RYAN MOORE PHOTOS

The outdoor youth summer league at SYS has been very popular, with more than 130 players from grades three through eight across the East End participating. RYAN MOORE PHOTOS

The outdoor youth summer league at SYS has been very popular, with more than 130 players from grades three through eight across the East End participating. RYAN MOORE PHOTOS

The outdoor youth summer league at SYS has been very popular, with more than 130 players from grades three through eight across the East End participating. RYAN MOORE PHOTOS

The outdoor youth summer league at SYS has been very popular, with more than 130 players from grades three through eight across the East End participating. RYAN MOORE PHOTOS

The outdoor youth summer league at SYS has been very popular, with more than 130 players from grades three through eight across the East End participating. RYAN MOORE PHOTOS

The outdoor youth summer league at SYS has been very popular, with more than 130 players from grades three through eight across the East End participating.  RYAN MOORE PHOTOS

The outdoor youth summer league at SYS has been very popular, with more than 130 players from grades three through eight across the East End participating. RYAN MOORE PHOTOS

The outdoor youth summer league at SYS has been very popular, with more than 130 players from grades three through eight across the East End participating. RYAN MOORE PHOTOS

The outdoor youth summer league at SYS has been very popular, with more than 130 players from grades three through eight across the East End participating. RYAN MOORE PHOTOS

authorCailin Riley on Jul 26, 2023

Scott Johnson readily admits that he’s a “basketball guy.”

The executive director of Southampton Youth Services has long been committed to the organization’s mission of creating athletic and recreational opportunities for kids, but anyone who knows him knows that hoops have his heart.

If what’s happening at the Southampton Town Recreation Center off Majors Path in North Sea this summer is any indication, the entire East End has a similar passion for basketball.

The SYS youth summer league has been a big hit and huge success at the recreation center, thanks to two new basketball courts that were recently installed outdoors. The basketball courts have allowed SYS to have an outdoor summer league, and were part of a $750,000 project that also included the construction of two new outdoor tennis courts, expanding the offerings for adults and children of all ages.

The money for the tennis and basketball courts came from a fundraising campaign that took just a little over a year, and recently wrapped up.

The youth summer league, which started the second week in July, includes 132 kids, ranging in age from incoming third-graders to incoming eighth-graders, from as far east as East Hampton and as far west as Westhampton Beach, with a strong contingent of both part-time and full-time residents. There are three age-group divisions, with four teams per division, all run by volunteer parent coaches.

“I thought it was a nice add-on to the campus,” Johnson said, when asked about his motivations to kick start a campaign to put outdoor courts at SYS. “It finishes the campus up a bit. There are a lot of calls for basketball throughout the winter, and I wanted to translate that to the summer and take it outdoors. People my age, this is how we grew up, playing basketball in the elements outdoors, on the blacktop. It adds a great element to the game.”

Johnson said he and the other coaches and parents involved in the league evaluated all the players before assigning them to teams to ensure the teams would be evenly balanced, and he said they purposely tried to mix it up when it came to geographic locations of the players as well.

“We think the teams are pretty equal, and they get to meet new kids, from different socio-economic backgrounds,” he said. “It’s really great to see this all take place.

“Once you get on the court, it doesn’t matter if you’re from the Upper East Side or living out here year ’round,” he added. “You just want to play ball.”

A focus on the addition of more outdoor courts for several different sports at SYS is a direct result of the pandemic, Johnson said.

“This whole vision really took place a few years ago during COVID, when people wanted to be outdoors. There were a number of people out here from the city, and we started having the discussion and it just blossomed from there.”

Johnson added that there is more to come. The next fundraising campaign, which has yet to kick off, will be focused on adding three outdoor padel courts. Padel is a racket sport that has seen a surge in popularity recently, as it is a sort of mashup between tennis, pickleball and squash. Johnson said SYS is also hoping to add two outdoor platform tennis courts as well, which will make SYS even more of a go-to destination for anyone who wants to dabble in as many forms of racket sports — and sports in general — as possible.

You May Also Like:

Weekly Roundup: Bridgehampton/Ross, Southampton Baseball Finish Seasons Strong; Southampton Girls Golf Officially Goes Undefeated; Baymen Girls Lacrosse Defeats Southampton

Bonac Baseball
Misses Playoffs Needing to sweep playoff-bound East Islip to finish with a record over ... 14 May 2024 by Staff Writer

Weekly Roundup: East Hampton Softball Just Misses Playoffs, Egan Completes Baymen Softball Comeback, Hurricane Boys Lacrosse in Line for Playoff Spot

East Hampton Softball Just Misses Playoffs After losing its first six games, the Bonackers went ... 7 May 2024 by Staff Writer

Weekly Roundup: East Hampton Softball Picks Up First Win; Celi Leads Westhampton Beach Softball; South Fork Boys Lacrosse Ends Skid

East Hampton Softball
Picks Up First Win Olivia Dodge went 2-for-4 with a double and Katie ... 16 Apr 2024 by Staff Writer

Weekly Roundup: Bonac Girls Track Has Solid Opening Week; McDonnell Leads Southampton Baseball to First Win; Hurricane Boys Lacrosse Has Won Three Straight

East Hampton Boys Tennis
Defeats Southold/Greenport The Bonackers defeated host Southold/Greenport, 4-3, on Monday to improve to 1-1 in League IV, 2-2 overall. Individual scores were not available. Bonac Girls Track
Wins First Dual Meet The East Hampton/Pierson/Bridgehampton girls track team won its first League V dual meet of the season, 99.5-43.5, at Rocky Point on Thursday, April 4. The Bonackers swept four different events (100-meter high hurdles, 400-meter dash, 3,000-meter race, discus) and also won the 4x100- and 4x400-meter relays. Ryleigh O’Donnell won three separate events by herself (400, 800, 400-meter intermediate hurdles) while Sierra Stumpf (100-meter high hurdles, high jump) ... 10 Apr 2024 by Drew Budd

Weekly Roundup: Bonac Girls Lacrosse Starts Season Undefeated; Pierson Baseball Starts Hot; Southampton Softball Wins First Game In Nearly Four Years; King Paces Hurricane Girls Lacrosse in First Two Wins

Bonac Boys Tennis Earns First Victory The East Hampton boys tennis team rebounded from its season-opening 6-1 nonleague loss at Ward Melville on March 25 with a close 4-3 nonleague victory over Islip at home the very next day. Individual scores were not available. Bonac Girls Lacrosse Tops Deer Park The East Hampton/Pierson girls lacrosse team defeated host Deer Park, 17-4, on Saturday to start the season 3-0 after having also defeated host Lindenhurst, 13-6, on March 28. Ava Tintle scored five goals and had one assist in the latest victory over Deer Park, while Lily Perello added three goals and ... 2 Apr 2024 by Staff Writer

Fall Postseason Honors for Pierson/Bridgehampton Teams

Pierson Boys Cross Country Class D Champion, All-County, state qualifier: Justin Gardner All-County, state qualifier: ... 13 Mar 2024 by Staff Writer

Westhampton Beach’s Stabile, Buchen Are Back in Division IV Doubles Final

The Westhampton Beach tennis team doubles duo of Julia Stabile and Matilda Buchen has once ... 11 Oct 2023 by Desirée Keegan

Weekly Roundup: Bonac Field Hockey Suffers First Losses, Pierson Boys Soccer Ties Mattituck, Hampton Bays Girls Volleyball Bounces Back, Hurricane Girls Tennis Loses First Match

Bonac Boys Soccer
Continues To Roll   The East Hampton boys soccer team defeated host Hauppauge, 3-1, on September 26 then defeated Eastport-South Manor, 1-0, two days later at home for its fourth consecutive victory and to improve to 5-1-1 in League VI, 7-1-1 overall. Juan Salcedo scored two goals in the win at Hauppauge. Filiph Garcia Ayala scored a goal and Adrian Arango made five saves. Chris Guallpa scored the only goal against ESM and Arango made five saves once again. East Hampton Boys Volleyball
Halts Losing Streak   The Bonackers defeated East Islip, 3-1, at home on Friday to end ... 3 Oct 2023 by Staff Writer

Weekly Roundup: Pierson Field Hockey Picks Up First Win; Southampton Girls Soccer Improves Record; Hurricane Boys Volleyball Bounces Back

Four Different Scorers 
 For Bonac Boys Soccer The East Hampton boys soccer team led ... 26 Sep 2023 by Staff Writer

Weekly Roundup: Bonac Girls Swimming Starts Season With Wins; Baymen Boys Soccer, Girls Volleyball Continues To Roll; Hurricane Boys Soccer With First Win

East Hampton Boys Soccer
With More Shutouts   After defeating New Rochelle, 7-0, on September 9 as part of the Jericho Tournament, the Bonackers (2-1-1 in League VI, 4-1-1 overall) blanked Rocky Point, 5-0, at home on September 13. Gary Gutama scored two goals and John Bustamante scored a goal and had two assists in the win over Rocky Point. All four victories so far this season have come via shutouts. Bonac Football
Falls at Hauppauge   The East Hampton/Pierson/Bridgehampton football team lost, 30-7, at Hauppauge on September 13 to fall to 1-2 in Division III. Charlie Corwin helped Bonac avoid being ... 20 Sep 2023 by Staff Writer