Basketball team benefits from YMCA court

Many people look at the Ridgway YMCA as just a health and fitness facility but according to executive director Mary Lynne Bellotti, the popular location is so much more."I have heard many times during my directorship at the Ridgway YMCA that our gym just isn’t big enough," Bellotti said. "We do not have a full-size court but there has been a lot of basketball played in our gym. We have been the extra gym to several area basketball programs over the years."With limited gym space at area schools, the YMCA has always opened up the gym to the teams that needed an extra practice or two. "[Ridgway senior] Eric Matheson has been a member of our Y since he has been about seven, and 99 percent of his time at the Y was spent in the gym," Bellotti said. "As I look back over the years, I can remember Eric shooting hoops with the older kids, and now he is still shooting hoops but he is promoting the game to our younger members."Matheson said the facility has meant a lot to him over the past 10 years."It has helped me become a better basketball player," Matheson said.The Ridgway Elker Basketball program had an outstanding season this year and for Bellotti, it was fun watching several of the boys grow up at the Ridgway YMCA.