Legion of Hoops gains popularity among young basketball fans | Sports – Arizona News

Legion of Hoops gains popularity among young basketball fans | Sports – Arizona News

Former Desert Vista High School varsity boys basketball coach Antonio Darden is turning his youth basketball organization into one of the Valley’s largest.

In two years, his Legion of Hoops has attracted more than 80 boys and girls ages 7 to 17 from the East Valley and beyond.

“Our youth program has been pretty successful thus far in a short period of time,” he said. “We have won a state championship.”

He also said that club leagues West Coast Elite and Grassroots 365 consider the League of Hopes teams for 10-, 11- and 12-year-old kids among the best in the state.

Darden on his legionofhoops.com website said the club aims “to provide a platform for the youth of Arizona to achieve excellence in the sport of basketball.

“Through intense training, exceptional coaching, competitive experiences, and educational mentoring, members are given the very best opportunity to maximize his/her potential and reach their basketball and educational goals,” it adds.

He said he chose the name for a reason.

“The definition of ‘legion’ is a vast host, multitude or number of people,” he said. “Our vision is to create a large, welcoming family environment where all kids are welcome to come and improve their skills.

Darden is a 1998 graduate of Randallstown High School in Randallstown, Maryland, where he helped the school to four consecutive region championships, the 1995 State Championship and trips to the state semifinals in both his sophomore and junior seasons.

He averaged 17.3 points, 11.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game as a senior, and…

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