Dribbling out the season at the annual DYAA All Star game

Mar 20, 2024

Over 300 kids participated in the Dartmouth Youth Activities Association’s basketball leagues this year and 80 of the best players had an opportunity to close out the season with one final tournament on Saturday, March 16.

The basketball All Star game is held annually for all four leagues, with the Junior and Little Leagues added to the day’s events just last year. Twenty kids from each league are selected for this opportunity.

John Aubertine, commissioner of the DYAA Pony and Colt Leagues, said, “It’s a good way to end the season.”

He said the kids played “extremely hard” this season and some were disappointed in having lost, but the All Star game gives them an opportunity to get with their friends one last time and just have fun playing basketball where “no one really loses.”

Aubertine said this season was challenging for him and another DYAA member who took on two teams as coaches. Although he said he’ll never attempt it again, he still “had a lot of fun.”

“[It was] probably one of the best years I've ever had,” he said, adding how it’s difficult to know how invested the kids will become in the league, but this year, the drive was there. 

Jason Laviolette, commissioner of the DYAA Junior and Little Leagues, said the younger leagues always have a lot of parent involvement, which has kept the gymnasium at Quinn Elementary School packed with excitement at the annual All Star Game. 

Aubertine said with the older kids, a lot of their friends come out to support them and it “adds a really good atmosphere.”

Laviolette said the game is “a good opportunity for those kids to play against their peers one final time because a lot of those kids are moving on to a different division or maybe not playing again.”

Every year, the coaches of the Colt and Pony Leagues each select an MVP — who they watch for throughout the season. 

This year, Raf Yazbeck of the Pony League and Mason Bouchard of the Colt League were named MVPs.