Founded in 2008 as Wilson Youth Basketball Association (WYBA) by a group of local parents and youth coaches who wanted to build a more centralized youth basketball program to promote enjoyment, participation, and competitiveness.
The organization is 100% volunteer-led.
With the recent name change at the high school from Wilson to Ida B. Wells, the WYBA in Spring 2022 renamed to Wells Prep Basketball (Wells Prep).
Thousands of youth have participated in winter basketball through the organization since its founding. Among the offerings over the years are recreational and competitive basketball teams in grades 3-8, as well as an intro-to-basketball program for 1st and 2nd graders. At its peak, the organization operated more than 50 teams per season.
After the Portland Interscholastic League (PIL) began offering a league-wide Youth Sports Program for middle schoolers in 2015 in each High School cluster, the organization scaled down to offer competitive development teams in grades 4 and 5 and Rec teams in grades 3-5.
Recreational programs were slowly phased out over several years, but for the 2023-24 season that service is being re-introduced by Wells Prep to help players and families form teams within the citywide Goldenball recreational program offered by Portland Parks & Recreation.
Unfortunately, the organization was forced to pause for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 winter seasons due to Covid, but we returned with several programs, as Wells Prep, for the 2022-23 season.
Connection to the High School
The organization has a strong, collaborative, and cooperative relationship with the local high school basketball programs for boys and girls. Over the years, the high school coaching staffs have provided coaching clinics for volunteer youth coaches, annual summer camps for youth players, team camps for winter competitive teams, skill clinics in the off-season, and youth night for players and parents to attend and celebrate high school games in organized youth team groups.
The organization, in turn, provides its online registration system for all of the youth camps and clinics provided by the high school programs. The organization also appropriates annual donations to the boys and girls high school programs in gratitude for their ongoing support of youth basketball.
Wells Prep (and Wilson Youth Basketball before it) is a federally-registered 501(c)(3) organization. All donations are tax deductible. The organization has made many investments in the community, including:
- new wall pads in the Jackson MS gym
- portable tabletop scoreboards, scoring tables and chairs for use at local gyms
- sponsored free skill clinics
- travel stipends for coaches for the Oregon State Tournament in Central Oregon
- easy-up short backboards for use with programs for our community's youngest hoopers
Since 2008, we have funded more than 150 scholarships for basketball program fees in excess of $20,000.