Little Hoopsters little hoopsters 2

by Jimmy Lee King

Looking for a great way to introduce your girl or boy (3-7 years old) to Basketball? Then look at the Bellevue Little Hoopsters.

Little Hoopsters High Five

Little Hoopsters High Five

Melissa Tatum, started the program 6 years ago for her Daughter who at the time was 4 years old. After searching she found only one program at the YMCA with an $80.00 fee, 1 hour a week for 6 weeks. Tatum decided to get her own program started for half the cost and many more hours of time for the players to learn and gain confidence. The program started with 26 children and in one year grew to over a hundred.

Overwhelmingly, Tatum was granted the ability to do the program by the Bellevue school and city. The program is not limited to only Bellevue children. There have been students from Florence and even Ohio. Children as young as 3.5 years old who are potty trained and permitted by parents to be on the court without a parent can participate.

Shooting hoops at Little Hoopsters

Shooting hoops at Little Hoopsters

Bellevue Varsity, JV and Middle school basketball players are the actual coaches of the program. The coaches put in over 40 hours a season to the program. Tatum comments that the coaches learn as much as the children do about learning and teaching basketball. Many of the coaches who graduate high school, still come back to teach because they love the program so much. There is also a scholarship program that is given out to a leading senior who maintains a 3.0 grade average. They have to submit and application and write an essay to explain what they learned from teaching in the program.

Tatum says “the program was never meant to make money. One of the neat things we have are sponsors for each of the teams. Each team has 10 to 12 children. Sponsors that have been part of the program since the beginning Tatum noted are Tom Rechtin Heating and Air, Mayor Ed Riehl and Crawford Insurance. For information on sponsoring at team call: Melissa Tatum at 859-261-2980.

In October Tatum will start sending out registrations. People can print them out online from the Little Hoopster page on Facebook or Tatum will email registration to the parents.

Sunday marked the end of the program for 2015. Today all the children get to play in front of all the parents and family. The players get to run out onto the court like the varsity players do. A DJ emcee’s the event as all the players get their name called out as they make a goal.

All you have to do is look at the faces of these children and see who successful this program is.
Check out the video here:
For more information on the program call: Melissa Tatum 859-261-2980


4 replies »

  1. The program was started by myself and my husband Steve Tatum! He gives a lot to the program to make it successful both on the court and behind the scenes. Could not do it with out him!


  2. I loved this program and everything it’s about! Melissa and Steve are amazing ppl and do so much for the community! I am so glad I am apart of Bellevue! My son played for two years and it truly helped him out once he went on to grade school youth basketball! Thank you Melissa and Steve!!!


  3. Thank you for the kind words, We love the program and seeing the kids have fun as well as develop an interest in being on a team.


  4. It has become more than we expected and seeing the interaction between our Varsity / JV / Middle School Players and the young ones is what it is all about . Couple more Years and we will have our 1st Hoopsters playing on the High School teams cant wait…..


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