by Stephen Dafoe
Coach Serge Froment saw a group of girls graduate this year that he began coaching when they were in the second grade. The local chiropractor and basketball coach has been with the Morinville Youth Basketball Association (MYBA) since its inception.
Froment’s love of basketball came at an early age when he would play with his younger brother and his friends, shooting baskets in his driveway for hours on end.
Though the sport was not as well organized in Froment’s day as it is today, he did play a significant role ensuring resources and training were there when his daughters began school and were looking for something sports related. Starting with 13 girls and two teams in the second year, the MYBA now fields seven and eight teams each year.
The MYBA basketballers were formerly called The Roadrunners but changed their name to the Orijen Sabretooths a couple of years ago when Champion Petfoods became the teams’ sponsor.
Froment saw the Association through the change in name and the growth in size and skill that has made the Sabretooths City and Provincial champions in successive years.
But with his daughters now playing for teams outside Morinville, Froment is hanging up his MYBA whistle and passing the torch to parent James Bedford [SEE OUR INTERVIEW HERE]. Froment is confident in his successor and sees great things on and off the court for the teams.
“Over the last couple of years, as I realized my daughters were going to be playing basketball in other locations, I knew it would be important to find a real good active parent,” Froment said, noting that Bedford rose to the task and the challenge. “Over and over, James kept really hitting home runs. When he showed up [to practice], he’d really encourage his team to come and help out. Whether it was the presentation of the cheque from Champion Petfood, or [getting basketball players out for] the parade, James really went out of his way to do things right.”
Froment began talking to Bedford about taking over the helm, and Froment is encouraged by Bedford’s interest in taking coaching courses.
“He’s really interested in becoming a better coach, and that’s important because you not only have to have a passion for the kids; you have to have a passion for the sport if you are going to be leading eight to ten teams every year,” Froment said.
The former MYBA President said he would be available to assist over the transition year, but is confident the calls will be few and far between.