Young Scouts gain All-Access Pass to Lady Scout Basketball

After running through the tunnel of varsity players, Bellwood fifth grader Lili E. meets senior Hope R. on the court. Each elementary girl gets to choose one varsity player to meet on the court.

Jonah S.

If you have attended a girls varsity basketball game this season, you may have seen some unusually young players lining the bench.

Head coach Nathan Wall’s newly implemented All-Access Pass gives elementary-aged girls the opportunity to be part of the Scout basketball team for an evening. This program has branched off of the newly-implemented David City Explorers League.

“The elementary girls that I select are ones that have decided to play for our youth program,” Wall said. “I hope that this will become an extra incentive to get even more of our youth signed up for the Explorers Basketball League.”

Young girls enrolled in the David City Explorers League first receive a letter from Wall inviting them to participate in the All-Access Pass. Once they accept, the students join the team before the game while the athletes complete pregame preparations. The young girls then get to watch warm-ups and experience running through the tunnel as a starter. Once the game starts, the girls enjoy every moment of the game from the bench, as well as join the team in the locker room at half-time.

“My favorite part of the night was running through the tunnel of varsity players,” sixth grader Natalie B. said. “I got to stand out on the court with my favorite basketball player as the crowd watched and cheered.”

This is the type of experience that Wall said he wants all elementary girls to remember as they participate in the Explorer League and prepare to become a Scout basketball player in high school.

“I hope that this will start to create excitement among our elementary kids, both boys and girls,” Wall said. “All it takes it one little tiny spark of interest to start a large fire of excitement.”

When the young Scouts run through the tunnel, they each get to choose an admirable player to meet on the court.

“I hope that our high school players can start to become heroes in the eyes of our future Scouts,” Wall said. “Growing up, my heroes were my dad’s basketball players, and I would pretend to be them when I got home from the game on Friday nights. It seems just yesterday when I was pretending to be Chad Denker or Jarod Ockander, who both played high school ball for my dad.”

One might think the seniors would be the fan favorites. While the seniors have been popular choices for favorite Scouts, freshman Olivia C. has topped the list for many of the young Scouts.

“I’m really privileged and hope that I can do my part to keep the inspiration going so that they want to play when they get to high school,” Olivia C. said. “I personally am already excited to see some of them play in later years.”

Once the game is done, the young girls get to see the reactions of the coaches and the players in the locker room–good and bad. Wall joked and said he has only had to keep the future players out of the locker room once in his seven years of doing the program.

Wall said he got the idea for the All-Access Pass when he was an assistant girls coach at Wayne. He was coaching a game in Crofton, and the Crofton girls team did it. He said he immediately thought, yep, I am stealing that idea as soon as I become a head coach. The next year he became the head girls coach at Wayne, and he implemented the idea immediately. Now, it has carried over to his career as head coach at David City High School.

“Hopefully our younger girls can get up close and personal to our team and see how great basketball is, and then they, too, can start to fall in love with the game,” Wall said. “Then they can say to themselves, ‘Hey, that can be me someday,’ and the dreaming can start to begin.”