Grades 1-6

Upward Basketball is a family-focused program that helps kids develop basketball skills as well as leadership and life principles. Each player gets equal playing time and the ability to strive in a positive gym atmosphere!

Registration is CLOSED for the 2023-24 Season of Upward Basketball through icSports at Immanuel Church in Gurnee, IL. Registration will run through October 14 and the cost per player is $175, but you can save $20 per player by taking advantage of the early registration discount and registering by September 9.

Division-specific information is below. Divisions are NOT Co-Ed; we have separate divisions for Boys and Girls.

1st-2nd Grade Boys and Girls Divisions

The 1st-2nd Grade Boys and Girls Divisions will use the single-day per week format where everything, including practice and team-versus-team gameplay, is completed in a 90-minute Saturday morning timeslot. Team practice times will vary within the Saturday morning window based on opponent/game schedule.


  • Reduced Travel/Commuting/Carpool Complexities
  • No Weeknight Conflict Between Upward Practice and School Events, Homework, and Bedtime
  • Less Missed Practices Resulting In More Teaching Continuity
  • Immediate Opportunity to Apply Practice Learning to Game Play

3rd-4th Grade and 5th-6th Grade Boys and Girls Divisions

Practices for the 3rd-4th and 5th-6th Divisions will be on Thursday or Friday evenings only and will be one-hour in length. Games for these divisions will be on Saturday afternoons. Games begin every hour on the hour.

The 5th-6th Grade Boys and Girls Divisions will have season-ending tournaments on the final game day.

Friend Requests

We have observed how much players enjoy being able to play on the same team with a friend/buddy. We will continue to allow players to make friend requests and will do our best to honor them; but, we cannot guarantee granting them, if they do not allow us to maintain fair balance between teams. Please note: friend requests are limited to pairs and both players must request each other. Friend requests should be submitted using the Carpool Link.

Key information for friend requests:

  • Friend requests are not guaranteed. Balanced/fair teams take priority.
  • One friend request per player. Friend requests MUST be reciprocating. Please coordinate practice night availability with your requested friend.
  • Friend requests that do not follow the above requirements will be ignored. This includes non-reciprocating friend requests and multiple friend requests.
  • Siblings playing in the same division will be placed on a team together, unless requested otherwise. Siblings do not count as a friend request.
  • We do our best to have siblings practice on the same night; but, friend requests take priority over siblings practicing on the same night. Honoring your player's friend request may mean your children will not practice on the same night as each other.

League Schedule (Practice times/windows will be determined based on number of teams):

  • Nov 2-4, 2023 - Practice Only
  • Nov 9-11, 2023 - Practice and Game 1
  • Nov 16-18, 2023 - Practice and Game 2
  • Nov 23-25, 2023 - No Practices/Games: Thanksgiving
  • Nov 30-Dec 2, 2023 - Practice and Game 3
  • Dec 7-9, 2023 - Practice and Game 4
  • Dec 14-16, 2023 - Practice and Game 5
  • Dec 21-23, 2023- No Practices/Games: Christmas
  • Dec 28-Dec 30, 2023 - No Practices/Games: New Year’s Weekend
  • Jan 4-6, 2024 - No Practices
  • Saturday, Jan 6, 2024 - Skills & Drills Event for Each Division
  • Jan 11-13, 2024 - Practice and Game 6
  • Jan 18-20, 2024 - Practice and Game 7
  • Jan 25-27, 2024 - Practice and Game 8 / 5-6 Tournament
  • February 3, 2024 - Awards Program (All Teams/Divisions)

Questions? Contact Laurie Cessna.