The Bounty Hunters, a local AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) competitive basketball program, is hosting tryouts for its girls travel teams on Sunday, October 23, and invites girls in grades 5-11 in New Tampa and Wesley Chapel to try out for the squad.
Coach Max Guevara (photo, with assistant coach Jess Cumba), who played AAU ball when he was a kid (“Which probably saved my life,” he says, since he grew up in one of the worst neighborhoods in Philadelphia) and in various adult leagues, played an assistant coach role with other organizations and the feedback he received from other parents was always overwhelmingly positive.
“When you hear; ‘You should have your own team’ enough times, you start to consider it,” Guevara says. “It frustrated me seeing my own daughter go from program to program being told what to do but not being shown how to do it. About a year ago, I contacted the AAU to see what it would take to start my own club.”
Guevara sought corporate sponsorship for 6 months, but says he was told by corporate CEOs and general managers that, “‘No one cares about girls’ basketball’ and that they failed to see the return on their investment. So, I funded the Bounty Hunters out of my own pocket. We ran our first camp this past summer and it sold out in less than 2 weeks.”
The Bounty Hunters is a year-round program, but from March to August, Guevara says his Junior Varsity (JV) and Varsity teams will travel in and out of the state, participating in tournaments against the best their age group has to offer. “We also teach these kids to be productive members of the community through volunteering and teaching them respect, communication skills, self-esteem and even money management,” he says.
The Bounty Hunters JV team is for girls in grades 5-8, and the Varsity team is for girls in grades 9-11. A total of 13 players per travel team will be selected, although the program also offers a Developmental Team.
The tryouts to be held on Oct. 23 will be free of charge. “As a nonprofit organization, we must rely of the generosity of the community to survive,” Guevara says. “You can help us keep this going by making a contribution on our website (BountyHunterBasketball.com).” For more details, please email email@example.com.