By MIKE SMITH
Rye Resurrection’s Summer Intramural Basketball League kicked off its inaugural season in June and, so far, the competition has been fierce as scores of local youths take the court twice a week to battle for hardwood supremacy.
With roughly 50 players aged 14 to 17 on four teams, the league has been a success, according to Resurrection Monsignor Donald Dwyer. Dwyer, who previously ran a similar program at Church of the Assumption in the Bronx, felt implementing a summer league in Rye was a no-brainer given the success of Resurrection’s CYO program.
“It’s something that brings the community together,” Dwyer said. “And it gives the kids something to do.”
Games are played on Mondays and Thursdays at the newly renovated Doty Gymnasium‑featuring official scorers and patched referees–making this one of the more unique leagues in the area. While most summer leagues are run by high school programs and are aimed at developing talent for the varsity level, the Resurrection league is only open to Rye residents but welcomes players of all skill levels.
The league may also pay dividends at the varsity level, however; several players currently in Rye’s High School program are taking part.
Will Durkee, who saw minutes on the varsity last winter as a junior, is playing in both the Garnets’ summer league as well as in the Resurrection league. He said he’s playing basketball almost five times a week over the summer in the hopes it will pay off once the basketball season rolls around in late November.
Durkee said playing in the Resurrection league gives him the chance to work on other aspects of his game that he might not get the chance to explore as a part of the Garnets’ system.
“Generally, one of my strengths is shooting,” Durkee said. “But here, I can work on my passing and my
rebounding, if I need to.”
Michael Carty, a rising junior and varsity hopeful, echoed Durkee’s sentiments.
“You don’t have that pressure here if you want to try something new,” he said. “So it gives you a little more freedom to work on something in the game.”
Dwyer said the success of the league this year–due in part to the large player turnout and willingness of parents to pitch in–means next year the league will look to expand in order to accommodate more players.
“We filled up quickly,” Dwyer said. “Next year, we’d like to add about two more teams.”