ABOUT DAYBA

Below you will find a kind of running timeline DAYBA has used over the years, especially as it pursued construction of its own basketball facility in the mid-2000s. Today, we are a 11-person board overseeing recreational leagues, as well as the Spirit of the North travel team tournament in the fall and the Border Battle high school all-star series in the spring. DAYBA serves the entire city of Duluth, and our mission statement reads:


"We strive to offer affordable, high-quality basketball opportunities for Duluth-area youngsters in grades 5-8. In doing so, we hope our players learn the core values of teamwork, accountability, hard work and perseverance. We will turn no youngster away."


Summer 1993: The Duluth Amateur Youth Basketball Association was loosely organized by a group of four parents, after the Independent School District 709, due to budget cuts, terminates the sports programs at the junior high level. In order to fund DAYBA, the first "Spirit of the North" youth basketball tournament was held. A total of 63 teams from around the state competed in that inaugural tournament.

October 1994: DAYBA becomes officially incorporated under the laws of the State of Minnesota. The legal name is Duluth Amateur Youth Basketball Association, Inc. More than 80 teams compete in the 2nd "Spirit of the North" held in November.

January 1999: DAYBA established a Building Committee, which was given the task of researching the idea of renting, buying or building a facility that would suit program needs, as well as gathering cost information and funding options.

August 2000: DAYBA engages a local architectural firm to develop conceptual drawings of a four-court facility complete with office and storage space, concessions area, meeting rooms, community area, viewing area, washrooms and locker rooms.

February 2001: DAYBA has a feasibility study completed through the Economics Department of the College of St. Scholastica. Researchers are asked to answer the question: "If a four-court facility can be built debt-free, is there enough demand to cover operating expenses?" The premise being, if through various funding methods, a four-court building can be constructed, will the usage be great enough to sustain the operation of the facility. The outcome of the study showed this to be very favorable. The big question remains how to raise enough money for construction. DAYBA continues to investigate funding ideas, holding meetings with local leaders seeking their input and assistance.

May 2002: Board members Rockne Johnson and Mike Gerber accept invitation by Duluth Mayor Gary Doty to join a City of Duluth Recreational Needs "Task Force."

January 2003: Task Force focus detours as application for funds through the Salvation Army and The Ray and Joan Kroc Foundation takes precedent. Local fundraising is geared to a possible Kroc Center. Herb Bergson is Mayor of Duluth.

March 2005: Kroc Center fails. Hockey community announces plans for major fundraising for the "Heritage Sports Center." Local fundraising is geared toward completion of the Heritage Sports Center.

June 2007: DAYBA moves headquarters into the Washington Recreation Center, 310 N. 1st Avenue W. (former Washington Middle School). The office suite is rooms 109A and 109B, just down the hall from the gymnasium, which is home to DAYBA's recreational league games.

August 2007: Eastern Duluth (East) recreational basketball falls under the auspices of DAYBA. Seventh- and eighth-grade boys and girls switch from high school-run rec leagues to DAYBA.

November 2008: DAYBA hosts its 16th Annual Spirit of the North tournament. More than 350 athletes participate in recreational leagues for boys and girls in grades 3-8, and another 110 play on DAYBA travel teams in grades 5-8.

February 2009: DAYBA announces plans to hold its first "Border Battle" All-Star games. The games will feature the best high school seniors in Northeast Minnesota competing against the best high school seniors from North Central Wisconsin. Two games, a girls and a boys game, will be held at the University of Wisconsin-Superior.