Sidney youth will have new options for Friday night activities with the start of a "midnight" basketball program at the Tri-Town Boys and Girls Club of Sidney.

The six-week league will start Friday and be free for teens living in the village, town or school district, said Boys and Girls Club Executive Director James Tweedie.

Boys and girls age 13 to 16 will play from 9 to 10:30 p.m., while those age 17 to 20 hit the courts from 10:30 to midnight, he said.

The program was identified as a need through a recent survey conducted by groups interested in addressing the problems of providing youth with productive activities.

Organizations such as Sidney Area Youth Advocacy Program, Communities that Care and Sidney Central School are working together on this first project of the Sidney Focused Youth Initiative.

Sidney United Way is helping fund the program, which will give youth health options, said United Way Executive Director Dennis Porter. Funding for other programs is possible.

A couple of those who plan on joining the program said they were looking forward to its start.

Cody Ray, 14, said he doesn't really have anything to do now.

"It's pretty cool," he said about the opportunity to be with his friends.

"I think its really good," said 13-year-old Dashon Boyles. Without the program there are not a lot of alternatives, he said. "It will help a lot of kids."

It has the potential to be an amazing program and provide a much-needed service for Sidney teens, Tweedie said. For more information or to register, call the Boys and Girls Club at 561-2311.

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