Hoop dreams can begin at any age, and after a pair of Cascade High School grads came up with an idea and enlisted the help of two more CHS alums, the former Cougars hope to help make those dreams come true for prospective ballers in the Western Dubuque area by tipping off the Dubuque County Basketball Academy (DCBA).

Created by Jake Green and Haris Takes, the academy is a year-round basketball skills-training and athletic company focused on introducing athletes to the game and furthering their development. DCBA provides instruction and training for area youth grades 2-12 through after-school clinics, player development clinics, seasonal 3-on-3 leagues, holiday and summer camps and online training.

“The idea began in 2018 when I visited Jake in Oregon and we discussed it a bit,” Takes explained. “It came to fruition in March or April of this year, and we launched in late June 2020.” The staff also includes Regan Takes and Jarrett Knepper.

The founders explained that their concept is focused on helping young athletes develop at all skill levels of the game (novice, intermediate and advanced), while enjoying the process of hard work and experiencing success.

Passionate about the sport and players under legendary CHS coach Al Marshall, the new business venture provides the founders and camp coaches with the opportunity to continue feeding their passion while helping others experience the same love for the game.

“I played basketball in high school and started coaching for an AAU program in Iowa as a freshman in college for about four or five years until I graduated from Iowa,” Green explained. “I love coaching and being around the basketball culture. We felt like there was an opportunity to help develop kids at any age level, given our experience, to have fun with the game of basketball.”

Takes agrees. “I have loved basketball ever since I can remember and have been blessed with great opportunities to play and coach the game. The idea of creating something I am passionate about was easy and I felt a duty to give back to athletes who are committed to bettering themselves. Jake had the experience and know-how with programs, camps and clinics that we are offering; he trained me in college. I thought, ‘I would like to do something like this with hoopers,’ and here we are.”

The DCBA curriculum is focused on developing a player’s skill set to be a high school player, with goals to work on ball-handling, shooting form, new moves, strength, conditioning, footwork and more.

Both Green and Takes studied various aspects and hold degrees in marketing/management, so while the DCBA staffers have fun imparting their wisdom during camps, they remain business-minded.

While the staff hails from Cougar country, they emphasize that their offerings are available to all communities in the Western Dubuque area. “DCBA has a variety of programs to offer that fit every skill set,” Green and Takes said, “from after-school hoops clinics to player development clinics, and our camps can be tailored to every skill level.

Prospective ballers can expect coaches that will challenge every aspect of their game. As long as they go into training with a positive attitude and a commitment to work hard, we can just about guarantee improvement, which is why we’re here.”

For more information, visit www.dubcobball.com, or the group’s Facebook page.