Help wanted

Published 3:39 pm Monday, January 28, 2013

Washington Youth Basketball League commissioner Wilson Edwards (right) and WYBL volunteer Tyrik Thigpen work the door at the Bobby Andrews Rec Center. (WDN Photo/Brian Haines)

So you’re a big time fantasy league hotshot? You set up all the meetings, evaluate all the players and coordinate the draft with Roger Goodell-type precision. Well, here’s your chance to do it for real.
Washington Youth Basketball League commissioner Wilson Edwards is stepping down at the end of the WYBL season and is looking for a replacement. So for anyone who would like to turn their fantasy of running a league into a reality, step right up and contact the Bobby Andrews Rec Center at 975-9309.
Wilson warns the job can be time consuming, but said it also comes with a heavy heaping of joy.
“It makes you feel good to see the smiles on these kids faces when they’re having fun,” Edwards said. “Winning or losing they’re learning how to play basketball and there are some good lessons in life there.
“It’s just fun to see all these kids off the streets doing something that’s fun. It’s just really one big happy family and it makes you feel good.”
Edwards assumed the role of WYBL commissioner in 2006 when the city turned the league over to the private sector and was in need of leadership.
With his son Thomas reaching the age of eligibility to play hoops in the league, Edwards jumped into action.
“At that time the city was making the league independent from Parks and Recreation and they were really concerned about it. They needed some people to take charge,” Edwards said. “I said ‘Well, my son is just starting, so I’ll listen. I’ll help out with the administrative part of it but I also want to coach.’
“… At the end of the season then-president Jimmy Crisp said it’s yours. So took it and ran with it.”
Edwards, along with vice commissioner Yolanda Parker, have looked over the league since and placed an emphasis on it being an instructional league where young athletes can come learn the basics of the game.
Since 2006, the WYBL, which features boys and girls divisions from ages 5-15, has seen an increase in enrollment.
Edwards, who played basketball at Washington High School under legendary coach Dave Smith, has poured his heart and soul into the league and is hoping to find the right candidate to take his place.
“We really need somebody to pick it up and keep it going,” Edwards said. “We’re looking for someone who is a very determined and has a child in this league. … The league really has to be organized by committee, so that person has to be able to work well and communicate with others and it helps to have a good technology background.”