“Hi Denis,

Just want to thank you personally for organizing an excellent camp this year in Regina. My son feels a lot more confident about his basketball skills and is looking forward to going back next summer.

Thanks Again,”

2010, Andrew Nimegeers, Regina
YAS 2010 Graduate

“Dr. Hall,

This is (now doctor as well) Moses Bernard here. I was just updating my resume, and when I got to YAS, I figured I’d shoot you an email about how I’ve been doing.

I moved to Dallas, TX in 2006 to start chiropractic school, and graduated in 2009. While there, I shifted my athletic pursuits to road cycling, and have raced fairly actively for the past few years. I recently moved to the Tampa, FL area after graduating to start a chiropractic internship for a technique that specializes in the upper neck and brainstem area.

Since that finished in January, I have been using my kinesiology background working as a personal trainer, while I go through the processes of immigration (for a green card: dealing with no snow is kinda nice;) and go through the processes for chiropractic licensure. I have been approached as well by a few companies interested in having me coordinate their wellness programs, and I owe my training at YAS for my background in that area if that is a field I choose to pursue.

I hope all is well with you.”

2010, Moses Bernard,
Graduate Bedford Road Collegiate, Saskatoon
YAS Graduate 1999, 2000
YAS Assistant Instructor and Instructor 2001, 2002
Canadian Olympic Team Trials Finalist, 400 m hurdles, 2004

“Hello Laura-Ruby and all YAS coaches and administrators. I wanted to just write and say what great basketball camps you have. As a veteran basketball coach and teacher (and parent), I’m very knowledgeable about what constitutes a good camp. Many other coaches and I agree that our players learned more in one YAS camp than they did in all the other summer camps put together that they attended including camps at the Universities in Alberta and British Columbia and in the USA. Your Head Coach, Dr. Denis Hall, seems to be the key. I watched him work with kids and he is is one tremendous communicator. No kidding! In my 33 years of basketball as a player, coach and organizer I have never seen or heard about anyone who could keep kids attention and get them to learn so quickly while having so much fun.”

2009 Mitch Sather, B.Ed., M.Ed., Saskatoon

“YAS fulfills such an important role within the community and I am happy that my family can be part of this organization. I wish to provide my heartfelt thanks to organizers, coaches and volunteers who have made this possible.”

2009, Marsanna Moser
Leading Seaman
Canadian Forces Navy, Esquimalt

“Thank you for sending this information. This experience was excellent for our daughter, Stephanie, and she will return next year!!

Best Regards,”

2007 Linda Koroluk, Yorkton

“Hi Denis. I hope the tournament went well and everyone had fun. Thanks for another great year of YAS camps. Andrew loved it and I can honestly say it has really helped him mature as a young man and built his confidence up. They learn so much more than just basketball skills when they come to your camps.

Andrew will be on year 5 next summer 2009 and he is looking forward to it. He hopes one summer he too can be a helper/leader for you like Mark has been. I think it is a good goal for him to have.

Enjoy the Fall”

August 24, 2008
Marnelle Wyatt, Regina

“Hi Coach Denis Hall this is Gumaa Lodongi. I just want to thank you so much for everything. I’ve improved from your teachings, you taught me so much stuff about being a good sportsmanship and good teamwork. You are the best and most understandable coach I have ever had. You’re funny and you made me laugh. I still remember all the things that you taught me and I practice them everyday and I’ve improved so much. I don’t think I would ever meet someone like you that would welcome a Sudanese person like me. Thank you so much.  I really enjoyed that basketball tournament in Saskatoon.”

2008 Gumaa Lodongi, Leboldus High School

“Hi, my name is Lisa McCormick. I attended a YAS Basketball School session in Regina July 16 – 20, 2001. This session taught me so much in so little time.

Basketball is one of my favorite sports because the game and the competition never end. Some of the many skills that I have gained from basketball are quick thinking, fast reflexes, teamwork, sportsmanship, and an understanding of the true meaning of a team. These skills don’t only help me on the court, they also help me outside the game of basketball. Sportsmanship has taught me how to contain my temper during intense moments, to play honestly and fairly, and how to play as a team and not as a one-person show.

I chose to go to YAS because I wanted to improve my talents in basketball. I learned how to play with more discipline, and to quicken my thinking on and off the court. I learned how to be quick; not fast, but quick, and I learned how to play smart. The three key words in basketball are: “Quick – Smart – Think.”

At YAS I met new friends and had fun. All in all, I think everyone, regardless of size, playing experience or age should be given the same opportunity to play to the best of their personal ability, and YAS is the place to do it. I think that anyone who has even the slightest interest in basketball should attend YAS. ”

Lisa McCormick, Grade 11, Melville Comprehensive High School
Melville, SK

“I attended one of the YAS sessions this summer and I really enjoyed my experience there. I think the YAS program has helped many young athletes including myself to improve their skills.”

Ashley Gulka, Grade 11, Sturgis High School
Sturgis, SK

“Thank you for your donation to our school fundraising event. We appreciate your support!”

St. Edward Home and School Association
Saskatoon, SK

“Thank you so much for all the prizes and bursaries you sent out for our basketball tournament. Everything was well received and the balls were especially appreciated. We had the referees pick the most sportsmanlike player from each team. Peter Millions (YAS Graduate 97, 98, 99 and 2000) was the winner from the host team.”

Lori Dufort, Lord Asquith High School Athletics, Asquith, SK

“My brother, Daniel, and I, Nicole, attended the 2001 YAS Summer Basketball School in Saskatoon. We learned a lot about teamwork and the basic skills of basketball. Daniel was taught many skills including how to drop-step properly. He learned that even a post needs to be able to dribble.

I too learned a lot about basic basketball skills. I set goals for HOT SHOT and the other competitions at YAS. I felt that I achieved most of my goals.

I also learned how to work with and encourage younger and less experienced players. This helps me to improve as a team leader. It also helped me to play against boys in some of the YAS competitions. I found playing against boys challenging.

We also made new friends, thanks to our time at YAS. We met many people who love basketball just like us. We are hoping to see many of them around during the regular school year. We also made friends with the staff. My brother also enjoyed the week off from our farm. It was a chance for both of us to take a break from farm life and to enjoy the busy city.”

Nicole and Daniel Drapak, Yellow Creek, SK
Grade 12 and 10, Birch Hills High School
Birch Hills, Sk

“Many thanks and appreciation on behalf of the students, staff and families of St. Mary’s Community School for donating YAS Basketballs to us.”

Krystal Laliberte, St. Mary’s Community School
Saskatoon, SK

“I just wanted to personally thank you for giving my grandson, Kai Charette, two wonderful weeks of basketball school. I appreciate the fact that each player was given ample opportunity to develop their skills, not just in basketball but working as part of a team, caring about younger members, laughing, sharing food and friendships.
As you know, Kai came to YAS in Regina from Ottawa (Kanata), Ontario. He knew no one to connect with. Yesterday he left Regina with relationships he developed at YAS that I trust will last him his whole life. I too made friends with other parents, grandparents and players at YAS. I look forward to having Kai participate again.”

Elona Daum, Kai’s Grandmother
Regina, SK

“YAS, Thank you for your interest in Youth.”

Idella Harder, Teacher, Wymark School
Wymark, SK

“To say that Drew had a great time [at YAS] would be a gross understatement! He excelled; winning many of the competitions, achieving a coveted ‘ medallion, ‘ but more importantly he never gave up in spite of pursuit by the ‘ asthma monster. ‘ It was an inspiration to all who watched. Thank you for your part in this success story.”

Mary Lynne Parsons, Drew’s Mom,
Gravelbourg, SK

“Hello Coach. I am using what I learned last summer at YAS on my Junior High basketball team and I am doing really well.” (Received February 1, 2002)

David Unruh, YAS 2001 Graduate
Saskatoon, SK

“Dear YAS Staff. On behalf of the North West Central School, I would like to thank you for supporting our tournament on January 25 & 26. We had a great turn out and everyone seemed to enjoy the tournament. We had eight teams including ourselves, Rosetown, Kyle, Kindersley, Eston, Marengo, Elrose and Kerrobert. We were able to give each team a package of Pizza Hut coupons provided by YAS and discount passes for YAS summer basketball school sessions. We also gave out the four basketballs and the four jerseys donated by YAS for ‘sportsmanship’ and ‘hustle’ awards. The recipients of the basketballs and the jerseys were . . . ” (Received January 31, 2002)

Catherine Kelly, Basketball Coach, North West Central School
Plenty, SK

“Dear YAS. I thank you for your sportsmanship award. The basketball is very nice. I thank you for donating the basketballs and the gift coupons.”

Stanley Andres, Wymark Wolverines, Wymark School
Wymark, SK

“How does one start when talking about our kids. So often we only hear the negative!

Well, during the week of August 19 to 23, 2002, a lot of positives started for a whole group of kids representing an area of your province. I had the privilege to coach at the Y. A. S. Summer Basketball School in the City of Regina. What a great week it was!”

I want to especially let you know about a great group of bantam players that came from the Fort Qu’Appelle area: Cameron, Darren, Jesse, Myron and two sisters, Mary and Marci. Every one of these players showed up early every morning to work hard on their skills, their attitude and their team play. I saw them grow every day in all these areas.

Was it easy for them? No! It was hard work mixed with fun, some discipline, and even an injury . . . yet these great kids put aside self interest and false pride in order to complete a great week of basketball.

I congratulate them and their parents for representing their area in such a positive way. Encourage them to work hard in school, sports, family and community. They are our future. They showed that when given the opportunity, they will excel.

Thanks Cameron, Darren, Jesse, Myron, Mary, Marci, their parents and Herman (the bus driver who brought them 50 miles to Regina every morning) for giving me a week I will never forget.”

Bill Jorgensen, YAS Summer Basketball School Coach
Williston, North Dakota

“Through attendance at YAS Summer Basketball School sessions I have become a better player and a better team leader.”

Bekki Burton, North Central School, Plenty
” I wish to thank you for the opportunity to work at YAS this past summer. I greatly appreciated working with the players and with all the other YAS staff This is a wonderful program for youth of all ages.”

Melisa Deausy, YAS Instructor and Teacher
Regina, SK

“YAS is a summer program for people who are serious about basketball and about improving their skills. Its a program for people who want to be competitive at a high level while having fun.”

Michelle Busch, YAS Graduate and Carlton Comprehensive High School Senior,
Prince Albert, SK

“YAS was an asset to my basketball game. It gave me the opportunity to fine tune my skills during the summer as well as learn proper technique and new concepts. If you are looking for these kinds of things, I would recommend YAS.”

Kerry Dougan, YAS Graduate and Referee
University of Saskatchewan Undergraduate
Saskatoon, SK

“If you are coming to a YAS School, you will be pushed. Mr. Hall understands that the game of basketball (and life) is a mental challenge, and aside from you being taught the fundamentals of basketball (which are more important than most players realize), you are being mentally strengthened. If you can master the mental side, you will be a better player and a better person.”

Quentin Randall, YAS Graduate and Former Instructor
University of Saskatchewan Undergraduate
Saskatoon, SK

“YAS is a great program for players to learn how to be a team player. Players also learn great offensive and defensive tactics that can be widley used on the court. No matter how long you have been playing basketball for, you are sure to learn something new.”

Nicole Drapak, Two-time YAS Graduate
University of Saskatchewan Undergraduate

“BASKETBALL – One words comes to mind, ‘Inspirational.’
YAS inspires people to push hard and succeed.

YAS inspires you to try something new each day and work with it.

YAS inspires you to open up to everyone and play for the love of the game.

Most of all, YAS inspires you just to have fun.”

Courtney Levinton, Two-time YAS Graduate, Aden Bowman Collegiate Junior
Saskatoon, SK

“In a time when winning seems to be everything in many peoples’ minds, it’s refreshing to see that there are some places, such as YAS, where integrity and fair play are not only encouraged, but expected.”

Carol Ritz, Parent of Three YAS Graduates over a 10 Year Period
Regina School Secretary
Regina, SK

“Attending three YAS camps changed my game, and my life. The mental aspect of basketball is truly the most important part of the game, but overlooked by so many coaches. At YAS I learned to not simply shoot and dribble better, but to think differently. The athletes I met during the camp were great people, and some are my best friends today. The weeks I spent at YAS provided some great times and memories.”

Kalen Mazenc, Three-time YAS Graduate
University of Manitoba Undergraduate
Winnipeg, MN

“If you want to improve your basketball skills, YAS is the place that will help you. We here at YAS give you the proper instruction to help you learn what it takes to improve your skills. We also teach you some of the little tricks we picked up through our experiences as players and coaches, and from our other basketball backgrounds. YAS will help you practice the basics of basketball and excel at the more advanced things.”

Colin Lovell, Six-time YAS Graduate
Saskatoon, SK

“YAS is the premier basketball school in Saskatchewan. The instructors, being YAS grads, know that fundamentals are an important part of any player�s game. Also, Mr. Hall’s dedication to his players after they have graduated from YAS is what sets YAS apart from its competition.”

Patrick Telfer, Six-time YAS Graduate and Former YAS Instructor
University of Saskatchewan Undergraduate
Saskatoon, SK

“Do you want to have fun, meet new friends and most of all . . . play Basketball? Then YAS Basketball camps are you! There isn’t anything better than to spend a week playing games, learning new skills, having fun and playing lots and lots of Basketball. Don’t worry if you have never played before, there are lots of friendly instructors to help you out. If know a little or a lot about Basketball you’re sure to have a great time. So, come on out and give it a try, it’s a great game. Basketball rocks!”

Karen Dunn, parent of two four-time YAS Graduates,
YAS Staff Member 2002 – 2004
Teacher and Coach
L’Ecole Providence
Vonda, Saskatchewan

“April 11, 2002

Dear Denis:

I was just feeling nostalgic and browsing around on the net for basketball in Regina and your site popped up. It looks as though you are doing well with the schools. Hopefully your hard work has paid off. I remember your first year with only a few of us enrolled in your class.

I just wanted to thank you for your camps that I attended. They came at a time where I was deciding between playing hockey and basketball, because it was becoming a scheduling nightmare to play both. Maybe I would have picked basketball anyway but I look back at your camps and remember how much fun I had and have continued to have playing basketball. I hope and know that you have helped other kids along the way. I do wish that I was able to come coach at some of your schools but living in Texas makes it a bit tough.

On a personal note, I have been married for about 6 years to my wife Helen who I met while playing ball in Brandon. We have a son Robby (5) and a daughter Jessica (2). We just bought a house in Carrollton, Texas (a suburb of Dallas). I work at a body shop as an estimator and my wife owns a car rental agency. Everything is good.

If you get a chance let me hear from you about how everything is going.

One of your first students, ”

Bob Miller, YAS 1983 and 1984 Graduate, Sheldon Williams Collegiate Graduate, Regina
Brandon University Graduate
Dallas, Texas

“School is out for summer and its time for some fun. The best way to have fun in summer is to go to YAS where you will have the fun of a life time and learn some new skills for the up and coming basketball season. The coaches are the nicest and most experienced, if you’re wanting to improve your game they’re the ones to learn it from. There are basketball players from all over the place and it’s a great way to have fun and make new friends, or even have some competition in a game of one on one. So when your parents are asking you what you want to do this summer, say ‘ Sign me up for YAS,’ is what you reply. Get signed up now, a whole summer of basketball fun awaits you.”

Jillian Demaer
Indian Head High School
YAS 2003 and 2004 Graduate
Indian Head, Sk

“I just want to thank-you so much for everything you taught me. After experiencing what I did at YAS I have more confidence, but also more respect for other people. You guys showed me that I can do anything I put my heart into. I will definitely consider coming back next year, no guarantees, but if I do get the chance I will definitely go for it. Believe it or not, more people are starting to come up to me now because I’m now known as the basketball girl. Thanks to you I have a better chance of making my dream of being on the Sacred Heart High School basketball team a reality.”

Brittany Osicki,
Sacred Heart High School
Yorkton, Saskatchewan
YAS 2005 Graduate

“Hey, I had a lot of fun at the North-South Ironman Tourney. It was my 2nd time at the tournament. Thanks for making the teams so even because I played and watched the best basketball of my life (for real). I’ve never gone into overtime before and everything was so intense. I guess when I made the finals in my first year I didn’t realize how many people came and where they came from just to win a pennant and to get on the YAS website. Wow, see you next year!”

Nick Yoner
Grenfell High School
Grenfell, Saskatchewan
YAS 2005 Graduate

“I just want to say a big THANKS to the YAS basketball staff. My daughter attended the camp last summer for the first time. She had not played basketball in Grade nine but wanted to get back into it for the 2005-2006 season. She made the ECS Junior team and even had the opportunity to play senior ball. The YAS camp was such a positive experience for her and gave her the confidence to get back into a sport she had been out of for over a year.”

Cheryl Anseth
Estevan, Sask.

“Well just to say that since I went to the basketball camp which I can’t even remember how long ago it was, I was in basketball all the way from grade 4 until grade 10. Then I took a year off and was in cheerleading instead which was fun. I came back into basketball this year in my last year of high school, and it was awesome. I had so much fun! It was my last time playing basketball because I will probably not play it after graduation. When I was in grade 10 our team made it to regionals and went to Shaunavon and just did horrible there, but it was a really fun and enjoyable experience.
I just wanted to say thanks for the instructions and stuff that I learnt at YAS the year that I went. It helped me play better and I learnt a lot.”

Lindsay Watson
Biggar Comprehensive High School
Biggar, Saskatchewan


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