The newly expanded Sussex County YMCA is launching travel basketball teams for children in grades 5-8, with tryouts scheduled in September.

The 9,000-square-foot expansion completed in January added a a full-size high school gymnasium to the YMCA, along with more wellness space, renovated program space and a redesigned lobby with a climbing structure for kids. The YMCA also added a cycle room for spin classes and renovated the locker rooms and bathrooms.

The new gymnasium has made it possible for the Sussex County YMCA to start up sports teams.

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“The Sussex County YMCA is joining the long-established New Jersey YMCA Travel League and we plan to have multiple teams at both the fifth- and six-grade level and the seventh and eight grade level,” Sussex County YMCA Sports Coordinator Derek Moorehead said.

Tryouts, which are free of charge, will be held at the YMCA on Wits End Road on Monday, Sept. 24, 7-8 p.m. for seventh and eighth graders, and Friday, Sept. 28, 6:30-7:30 p.m for fifth and sixth graders. A make-up session for children in grades 5 through 8 will be held Saturday, Sept. 29, 2-3:30 p.m.

Practices will be held 7-9 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays, but once weekly games begin in December, practices will be held once a week. The season ends in early March with a tournament, Moorehead said.

Teams will be trained by YMCA speed and agility instructors. The cost is $250 per player. For more information, contact Moorehead at 973-209-9622 or dmoorehead@metroymcas.org.

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ABOUT THE Y

Established in 1885, the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges invests in its diverse communities to promote wellness, safety and quality of life for children, adults and seniors. Its seven branches in East Orange, Livingston, Maplewood, Hackensack, Hardyston, Stillwater and Wayne are committed to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living and fostering a sense of social responsibility through an array of programs. Some 35,000 people belong to the Metro Y, which awards more than $2.8 million annually in direct and indirect financial assistance.