SHYBA creates inclusive environment

To provide a fun time for hundreds of local kids, SHYBA runs a winter basketball league. Practices and games take place at various elementary and middle schools across the district.


Photo by Tommy Meehan

Leaping for a layup…Gliding through the defenders, sophomore Chris Mckenna goes up for a layup during a recent game. SHYBA, a local basketball league, hosts a winter program for high school students.

By creating a welcoming environment, SHYBA offers families from the community an opportunity to have fun and stay active.
SHYBA is a “community basketball league designed for its youth participants.”
SHYBA was created in 1990 and started with just 50-75 boys, ages 10-14.
According to, Souderton Area High School’s 1989 basketball coach Bill Michuda wanted to give his students the opportunity to compete with each other and be part of a team. Michuda was also a guidance counselor at the high school.
With the help of several other locals, he created SHYBA.
Since 1990, SHYBA has opened a league for girls to play in, extended its age limit and hired real basketball referees.
In the process of developing the SHYBA that the Souderton community is familiar with today, the league has served nearly 1,400 kids.
SHYBA is available for people ages 6-18. According to senior Aiden McClure, SHYBA is a great opportunity for kids of all ages.
“I played SHYBA for six years, then played for the high school for three, and switched back this year,” McClure said
Senior Julia Mangini said that SHYBA offers a good experience for all.
“I think SHYBA is a great opportunity for everyone,” Mangini said. “All of the coaches are super supportive and even though they don’t have the best skill level, it is still a fun way to stay active.”
SHYBA does not require a high skill level to participate.
The league is open to people who are new to basketball, intermediate or experienced.
“I don’t think it requires a certain level of skill to have fun in SHYBA, as long as you have the basic knowledge of basketball you should be fine,” senior Brooke Scotti said.
Mangini agrees with Scotti.
“Even if you are not the most skilled basketball player, you can still have fun staying active with your friends,” Mangini said.
Every SHYBA season starts with an evaluation of the players, then proceeds to a draft, then practice, and games; this results in randomized, equal teams.
“At first it was difficult to be split up from my friends but it was also really fun to compete against them,” Mangini said.
Scotti said that being separated from her friends can be hard, but there is a way to get over it.
“It can seem nerve racking, but it is a chance to make new friends,” Scotti said.
McClure agrees with Scotti.
“I got to know people on my team who I have never talked to before, it’s just a good chance to meet new people and build friendships,” McClure said.