Getting Started With Youth Basketball in the East Bay - 510 Families

Getting Started With Youth Basketball in the East Bay

Big thanks to Golden State Warriors for sponsoring our guide to kids basketball in the East Bay. The Warriors are hosting this summer’s California Classic, a two-day celebration of basketball with so much happening on and off the court!

Getting a child started in a new sport can be daunting. It feels like all the other parents know what’s going on, when to sign up, and what to bring. Here’s a guide for East Bay parents whose kids are eager to try basketball.

Golden State Warriors host basketball camps in the summer for interested kids, aged 7 to 15. And that’s just one way. Coed and all girls’ sessions are available in Oakland and San Francisco. All camp sessions include a $100 credit toward 2022-23 Warriors game tickets. Warriors Basketball Camp in Oakland | Warriors Basketball Camp in San Francisco | Warriors Basketball Camp in Other East Bay Locations.

a parents guide to start basketball

Get kids started playing basketball

There’s no one path to getting interested. Some kids develop a love for the sport by watching the pros or trying to replicate trick shots from youtube. Whether it’s bouncing a ball around with Mom and Dad, playing with friends for fun, or later engaging in more structured games, activities, camps, or clinics, these are stepping stones to a healthy relationship with physical activity and sports. Build some familiarity, take a basketball to the park, and watch the big kids. Keep it fun.

We like this starter preschooler basketball set with an adjustable hoop. I also see that families who live on quiet streets have nearly full-sized hoops in the road.

Pro-tip for parents: Never push a sport. It doesn’t usually work.

Group Basketball Classes for Little Kids

When your child is ready for organized group activities, a class with an experienced coach teaching a proven curriculum will help them learn to love the game. Kids tend to enjoy basketball more when they are taught the fundamentals correctly. Players build their confidence in classes and then take their love for the game to the next level.

Some of the East Bay’s long-running basketball programs for the little ones are still on hiatus from Covid. We hope to see them back in the game soon.

child throws basketball

See the Toddler Class Guide for Little Kid Sports Instruction >>

Your Rec Center (Multiple)

Your first stop for getting the littlest athletes familiar with sports is often the nearest rec center. Depending on where you live, you might find “classes” for kids as little as age two. Look for basketball classes in Berkeley, Piedmont, or Oakland.

Bay Area Wildcats Kindershoot (Oakland)

Boys and girls ages 4 to 8. These sessions, for boys and girls, ages 4-8 of all skill levels and abilities, focus on individual skill development, the importance of fundamentals, and the development of a healthy team attitude. Learn more.

GS Warriors Academy (Oakland)

Basketball skill development classes are for boys and girls, ages 5-17. Each class will simulate game situations, identify weaknesses, and gain positive results through efficient repetitions. All sessions will be hosted at the Warriors Basketball Facility in Oakland on the same courts where Steph, Klay, and Draymond became Champions! Learn more about Warriors basketball classes. Learn more about Warriors Summer Camp.

OPRYD Basketball League (Oakland)

Kids ages 4-14 of all skill levels are welcome. Basketball runs from January through March. Youth learn the basics of the game and develop skills in dribbling, passing, shooting, and footwork. Registration begins in December. More info.

University Village (Albany)

Basketball classes provide an environment for basketball fun and skill development for grades 2 to 8. Coed basketball leagues emphasize teamwork and sportsmanship with a weekly game schedule. Learn more here >>

Triple Threat Academy (Oakland, Alameda, San Ramon)

Classes start at age 5 for youth basketball. They also offer seasonal camps, online courses, and a book of drills and skill challenges. Learn more.

A class that leads up to scrimmages gets kids ready to join a recreational basketball team or league. We have listed the local leagues at the bottom of this guide. (Jump there >)

East Bay Basketball Camps for Kids

Basketball and multi-sports camps are for players of many ability levels. Our Seasonal Camp Guides have many cool sports camps. Look for a multi-sports program like the one at Cal or a dedicated basketball camp like the Warriors’ Camp or Legarza. Find more basketball summer camps here >>

youth basketball camp at chase center
Warriors basketball camp participants receive high-quality instruction, a reversible camp jersey, headband, certificate of participation, and a credit toward NBA game tickets | Photo: Golden State Warriors

East Bay Places for Kids to Shoot Hoops

If your kid wants to find pick-up games, meet friends for shooting, or play HORSE with you, here are a few kid-friendly places to bounce your basketball.

  • School playgrounds. On the weekends, most elementary schools become public parks available for recreational use. Bring your own b-ball. (Steph and Ayesha Curry lead the remodeling of the courts at Franklin Elementary in Oakland)
  • Grove Park, Berkeley. Grove Park’s basketball courts have it all from grown adults playing pick-up to little kids learning to steer their scooters. Find a time of day when the crowd suits you and your kid.
  • Montclair Park, Oakland. More info.
  • Larkey Park, Walnut Creek. Near the sprayground and a large park, there’s plenty to do while you wait for your court to free up. More info.
  • Mosswood Park, Oakland. More info.

Where do your kids like to shoot hoops in the East Bay? Drop a comment.

East Bay Basketball Leagues & Clubs for Recreational and Competitive Teams

The Amateur Athletic Union (or AAU) is the acronym you’ll want to remember for youth basketball leagues. We have personally found it difficult as rookie parents to know when sign-ups are required, so we recommend joining the email list of the league you would like to remind you. Or add it to your family calendar right now!

AAU Girls Basketball (Multiple)
AAU Boys Basketball (Multiple)
Alameda Youth Basketball, AYB (Alameda)
Alameda Vipers (Alameda)
Junior Warriors (Oakland-based)
Bay Area Wildcats (Oakland)
University Village Basketball Leagues (Albany/Berkeley)
Oakland Rebels
Oakland Soldiers (Oakland, Stockton, Pittsburg)
Cal Stars (Orinda)
West Coast Elite
Team Kidd Girls and Jason Kidd Select
Team Lillard Boys Basketball
MRC, Mission Rec Rebels Girls Basketball Club
Just Hoop (San Leandro)
RYBL, Richmond Youth Basketball League (Richmond)
East Bay Waves (Tri Valley Area)
East Bay Kings (Livermore)
Tri Valley Basketball (Tri Valley Area)
Bay Area Lava (Tri Valley Area)
East Bay Prime / ASA Hoops (Walnut Creek)
Team Esface (Redwood City)

Find an AAU Girls Club >
Find an AAU Boys Club >

Where to buy basketball gear (new and used)

Sports Basement in Berkeley or Walnut Creek
Dick’s Sporting Goods in Dublin or Pleasant Hill
Play it Again Sports in Concord or Dublin (used gear, also online)

warriors logo

Big thanks to Golden State Warriors for sponsoring our guide to kids basketball in the East Bay. Basketball programs and clubs are running year-round.


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