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Coach holds court with young basketball players

Lending a Hand
By: Michelle Miller-Carl Journal News Editor
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Yeah, the Titans didn’t do too well this year. The basketball team only won two games in the Auburn Recreation District’s Youth Development League. But the young players learned a valuable lesson that it’s not always about winning from coach Cody Kilmer. “One of the games we lost, he said was the best game we played,” said Tyler Linton, 12. Kilmer started volunteering with the ARD Youth Development League this season after some persistent nagging from the kids at the Boys & Girls Club, where he used to work. “They asked me frequently, so after I took a job as a rec director in Sacramento, it made sense,” said Kilmer, 27, of Auburn. “Working with kids, they typically talk you into things.” Kilmer coached the junior high boys team The Titans. The team practiced twice a week in the evenings with games held on Saturdays. The Youth Development League wrapped up this month. While the Titans didn’t pick up many W’s, they did pick up some skills, said Kilmer. “Working with the kids and seeing them develop over the course of a season, picking up skills and learning different aspects of the game, is definitely a plus,” he said. Tyler said Kilmer helped him on his defensive game and his form. “I’d force the ball up and he stopped me and showed me how to do it,” Tyler said. Kilmer was chosen as the Auburn Recreation District’s Volunteer of the Month in February. “It’s always hard to find volunteer coaches, so it’s nice to have a young man like Cody,” said Jerry Fisher, sports coordinator with the Auburn Recreation District. What impressed Fisher was that Kilmer didn’t have a son on the team, but was more than willing to help out local kids. “Cody fits right in. He knew how to coach a team,” Fisher said. “He’s a real down-to-earth guy who wanted to give something back.” For Kilmer, who first coached youth basketball at age 15, a love of the game keeps him coaching. And a love of the kids. “I think a lot of kids need a positive role model and I’m willing to take the time out,” Kilmer said. “I’m just volunteering my time, and I hope these kids would do the same if they had the opportunity.” If you would like to suggest a volunteer for this feature, e-mail ajournal@goldcountrymedia.com or call (530) 852-0235. ---------- How to help Auburn Recreation District is looking for volunteer coaches for the Youth Development basketball league as well as another competitive middle-school league starting this spring. Coaches must pass a fingerprinting background check. For more information, visit the Recreation Park customer service office at 123 Recreation Drive in Auburn. You can also find the volunteer form online under “forms” at auburnrec.org. For more information, call (530) 885-8461.