TRURO - Allison Cook just loves what he sees as he glances at this season's Colchester mini basketball sign-up sheet.
As one of three co-ordinators for the association, seeing 206 names on the list means basketball is alive and well in Colchester County.
"We would love to have as many as possible," Cook, who has been involved with the association for the past 10 years, said. "It's a cheap program and it encourages kids to learn some skills and have fun."
The number of players this season has dropped slightly from the 215 who took part a year ago. But that number could climb before the early January start to the season arrives.
"People can still come out," Cook said. "We never turn anyone away."
When it comes to bang for your buck, it doesn't get much better than mini basketball. Open to players from Primary to Grade 9, the cost is just $45 for the season which includes a game and two optional practices each week. Players also get to keep their t-shirt at the end of the season and receive their own team photo at the end-of-season jamboree.
"It's a lot cheaper than most other activities, which are usually around $100 or so," Cook said.
This season the organization has enough players for six teams in the Primary to Grade 2 Division, eight teams in the Grade 3 to 5 Division as well as four boys and two girls squads in the Grade 6 to 9 category.
Games are non-competitive, no score is kept and players receive equal playing time.
Games are played on Saturday mornings at Valley Elementary, Redcliff Middle School, Harmony Heights Elementary and Bible Hill Junior High and the season runs until late March.
Cook said the group, which has been around for the past 25 years, is an excellent way for players to get an introduction to the game in a no-pressure environment.
"There are no expectations," he said. "It's a great way to start and learn some skills and if they want to move on to a more competitive environment later, then they can."