Basketball for Kids in Grand Rapids: 20+ Basketball Teams & Training Places

Basketball for kids around Grand Rapids

Basketball for Kids Starts as Early as Age 5 in Michigan

Basketball is one of the most popular sports for kids in Grand Rapids. 

Signups can fill up quickly, and there are many super competitive programs for serious players. 

Thankfully, there are also a lot of “laid back” options for kids who just want to have fun or learn the game. 

So no matter how serious your young athlete is about basketball, there’s a club, team or skills camp for them in West Michigan! 

Why is basketball for kids so popular?  

One of the great things about basketball is that anyone can play. 

If you love the game, you can head over to a local court at the park or a school and join a pickup game. It’s one of the few sports where a stranger can just join a group and play.

Kids can also practice at home in their driveway. You don’t even need a hoop if you want to practice handling skills.

Basketball Menu

How Basketball for Kids Works

At What Age Can Kids Start Playing Basketball?

Most teams and camps in West Michigan start at kindergarten, or age 5/6.

How do Kids get Started with Basketball?

West Michigan has many basketball leagues for elementary kids.

Find them through your local rec department or even public school system.

Children need to be enrolled in a school to play on their team, but most rec departments do not require residency to play. (Though usually it’s more convenient to join the league in your community.)

When are Basketball for Kids Signups?

Signups are usually several months before the season begins, and can fill up quickly, since basketball is very popular in West Michigan. 

Basketball seasons for kids is often in winter, but you can also find spring seasons and larger organizations offer it year round.

The winter season is generally November – February, with signups as early as July.

Late winter seasons can be found January – March, with signups around October.  

Where can my Kid Play Basketball Without a lot of Experience?

Kids who are just getting started with basketball should look into camps, classes and rec teams.

Camps at places like The Courthouse and Michigan Basketball Academy help students learn and develop skills in a welcoming environment. Basketball is one of those sports that uses a lot of specialized techniques, such as dribbling, ball handling, footwork, quickly shifting momentum, shooting with proper form and more.

A great option for kids who don’t have experience is to take skills classes through organizations like the YMCA or Max Effort Gym in Caledonia. 

YMCA has classes year round for 3-5 year olds, where they can learn the fundamentals of basketball while strengthening coordination. (One fun thing that YMCA does is have the athletes wear colored wristbands so they remember who they are guarding.)

What is Club Basketball for Kids?

Club Basketball is the next level of basketball. This is where kids can take all the skills they’ve learned on rec teams and at camps, and apply them in a more competitive environment. 

It’s a larger time commitment, as you often have two practices and two games a week. Some of these clubs even have travel teams.

Clubs start in 3rd grade and are significantly more expensive and competitive, and have longer seasons.

Coaches will put teams together, usually from a community area and based on experience/ability. They play two games a week from October-March and usually have about six travel tournaments.

Once kids hit middle school, they can try out for their school’s basketball team. This is where it starts to matter what your skills are, since up until this age, anyone can play. The kids that come from playing extensive travel ball are more likely to make the team.

How Much Does it Cost to Play Basketball?

Beginner level basketball usually runs $50-175/season, depending on how involved it is. Once club basketball is reached, the cost goes up and can be around $500/season or more.

What Equipment is Needed to Play Basketball?

Players only need to provide good quality basketball shoes and comfortable clothes to play. Jerseys are often included in the cost to play but not always. If you pay separately for jerseys, they run $25-30 on average. 

But if a player wants to grow their skills, they’ll want their own basketball to practice with at home.

Are Special Shoes Needed for Basketball?

The squeak of the shoe is a distinct sound that every basketball fan knows, and if your kid plays competitive basketball, they’re going to want shoes that squeak on the court.

Basketball shoes are different from other sports shoes: they need to be thick, yet flexible. (And provide a lot of cushion for older kids, as they will be coming down from higher jumps.) They also have to let you move quickly on the court, but not enough that you slip and fall.

Most sports shoe stores will have associates that can help you find the right kind of basketball shoe for your kid.

Where can I Find a Pickup Basketball Game?

Your best chance at finding a pickup basketball game is at a park or gym that has a basketball court, and to show up on a weekend or after work hours.

If you show up to any decent basketball court in your area at a gym or park, you will most likely find some pickup games taking place.

Michigan Basketball Academy in Grand Rapids

Basketball

5449 28th Street Ct. SE, Grand Rapids MI 49546


"We absolutely love the MBA family! Through their clinics, AAU travel season, and the elite coaching staff, we are grateful for the opportunities and programming MBA offers."


At MBA we are passionate about fostering the values and lessons learned through sports.

We will train and push your player to be the best basketball player while instilling values of teamwork, leadership, self-confidence, humility, hard work, and more.

We train players at every level and age – from our beginner youth clinics to our national-level AAU teams.

We focus on quality, fundamental training with top-notch coaching.

We are passionate about basketball and are grateful for the opportunity to train athletes in West Michigan and help them love the game as much as we do!

Courthouse Athletic Center in Byron Center

Basketball

8895 Byron Commerce Dr SW, Byron Center MI 49315


"We love the Courthouse! Their leagues are well organized, matching teams based on ability. Their camps focus on skill work while always making sure the kids have fun too."


Basketball leagues, camps/clinics, small group instruction, and house team offerings in a family-friendly, developmental environment. Programs for ages five through high school levels, with a focus on skill and leadership development.

League play is coordinated and run through us, with weekly scheduling to allow for competitive match ups. Camps, clinics and small group training focus on individual development through skill work, conditioning and competitions and scrimmages.

Full List of Basketball for Kids

A comprehensive list of area basketball training and leagues for kids.

Michigan Basketball Academy in Grand Rapids

5449 28th Street Ct. SE, Grand Rapids MI 49546
• Basketball Leagues, Toddler Basketball, Basketball Tournaments, Basketball Teams for Kids, Girls Basketball Teams, Boys Basketball Teams, Individual Basketball Coaching
• Grades K-2, Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12

BC Fire in Byron Center

, Byron Center MI
• Basketball Leagues, Basketball Teams for Kids, Girls Basketball Teams, Boys Basketball Teams
• Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8

Belding Youth Basketball League in Belding

, Belding MI
• Basketball Leagues, Basketball Teams for Kids, Girls Basketball Teams, Boys Basketball Teams
• Grades K-2

Cal Thunder Basketball in Caledonia

, Caledonia MI
• Basketball Leagues, Basketball Teams for Kids, Girls Basketball Teams, Boys Basketball Teams
• Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8

Caledonia Community Youth Basketball in Caledonia

9749 Duncan Lake Ave SE, Caledonia MI 49316
• Basketball Leagues, Basketball Teams for Kids, Girls Basketball Teams, Boys Basketball Teams
• Grades K-2, Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8

City of East Grand Rapids in East Grand Rapids

750 Lakeside Drive SE, East Grand Rapids MI 49506
• Basketball Leagues, Basketball Teams for Kids, Girls Basketball Teams, Boys Basketball Teams
• Preschool, Grades K-2, Grades 3-5

Courthouse Athletic Center in Byron Center

8895 Byron Commerce Dr SW, Byron Center MI 49315
• Basketball Leagues, Basketball Teams for Kids, Girls Basketball Teams, Boys Basketball Teams, Individual Basketball Coaching
• Grades K-2, Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12

Dorr Recreation Basketball in Dorr

, Dorr MI
• Basketball Teams for Kids, Girls Basketball Teams, Boys Basketball Teams
• Grades K-2, Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8

Forest Hills Public Schools Community Services in Grand Rapids

660 Forest Hill Avenue SE, Grand Rapids MI 49546
• Basketball Teams for Kids, Girls Basketball Teams, Boys Basketball Teams
• Grades K-2, Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8

Grandville Community Education in Grandville

3843 Prairie St SW, Grandville MI 49418
• Basketball Leagues, Basketball Teams for Kids, Girls Basketball Teams, Boys Basketball Teams
• Grades K-2, Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8

Holland Recreation in Holland

429 E 24th St, Holland MI 49423
• Basketball Leagues, Basketball Teams for Kids, Girls Basketball Teams, Boys Basketball Teams
• Preschool, Grades K-2, Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8

i9 Sports - Grand Rapids in Grand Rapids

1916 Ridgewood Avenue Southeast, Grand Rapids MI 49506
• Basketball Leagues, Basketball Teams for Kids, Girls Basketball Teams, Boys Basketball Teams
• Preschool, Grades K-2, Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8

Jenison Youth Basketball in Jenison

, Jenison MI
• Basketball Leagues, Basketball Teams for Kids, Girls Basketball Teams, Boys Basketball Teams
• Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8

Kentwood Parks and Recreation in Kentwood

355 48th St SE, Kentwood MI 49548
• Basketball Leagues, Toddler Basketball, Basketball Teams for Kids, Girls Basketball Teams, Boys Basketball Teams
• Preschool, Grades K-2

Max Effort Fieldhouse in Caledonia

8280 Broadmoor Ave SE, Caledonia MI 49316

• Grades K-2, Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8

Mona Shores Youth Basketball in Mona Shores

, Mona Shores MI
• Basketball Leagues, Basketball Teams for Kids, Girls Basketball Teams, Boys Basketball Teams
• Grades K-2, Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8

Muskegon Youth Basketball League in Muskegon

, Muskegon MI
• Basketball Leagues, Basketball Teams for Kids, Girls Basketball Teams, Boys Basketball Teams
• Grades K-2, Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8

Northview Little Cats Basketball in Grand Rapids

4365 Hunsberger Ave NE, Grand Rapids MI 49525
• Basketball Leagues, Basketball Teams for Kids, Girls Basketball Teams, Boys Basketball Teams
• Grades K-2, Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8

Rockford Youth Basketball in Rockford

350 North Main Street, Rockford MI 49341
• Basketball Leagues, Basketball Teams for Kids, Girls Basketball Teams, Boys Basketball Teams
• Grades K-2, Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8

Upward Sports in West Michigan

Locations at Chapel Pointe (Hudsonville), First Reformed Church (Ravenna), Bailey Christian Church (Bailey), Northwood United Methodist Church (Stanwood), West Michigan MI
• Basketball Leagues, Basketball Teams for Kids, Girls Basketball Teams, Boys Basketball Teams
• Grades K-2, Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8

West Michigan Adrenaline Basketball in Norton Shores

1121 Seminole Road, Norton Shores MI 49441
• Basketball Leagues, Basketball Teams for Kids, Girls Basketball Teams, Boys Basketball Teams
• Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8

West Michigan Drive in Greater Grand Rapids

, Greater Grand Rapids MI
• Basketball Leagues, Basketball Tournaments, Basketball Teams for Kids, Girls Basketball Teams, Boys Basketball Teams
• Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12

YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids in

Multiple Locations in West Michigan, MI
• Basketball Leagues, Basketball Teams for Kids, Girls Basketball Teams, Boys Basketball Teams
• Preschool, Grades K-2, Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8

Zeeland Recreation in Zeeland

320 E Main, Zeeland MI 49464
• Basketball Leagues, Basketball Teams for Kids, Girls Basketball Teams, Boys Basketball Teams
• Grades K-2, Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8

Gus Macker Tournaments

The Gus Macker 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament is a national tournament program that is super popular in West Michigan, probably because it originated here, in Lowell.

It’s an inclusive tournament that is designed so that anyone can play: all ages, genders and experience levels can have a blast with Gus Macker.

Gus Macker hosts over 900 tournaments nationwide, with over 2.2 million players. Kids usually play starting at age 7. Proceeds from the tournament go to local charities.

If your kid (or you!) can comprise a team of four players, you can sign up to participate. Tournaments happen year round; check the Gus Macker calendar for the latest schedule.

Gus Macker tournaments are great basketball for kids opportunities.

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