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Bruins AAU Program

We are interested in the VABA Bruins AAU/Travel Program!

Please complete this form if you/your family is interested in participating in the VABA Bruins program. Only invited players will receive a link to register.

The VABA Bruins basketball program is comprised of high aspiring athletes interested in furthering their basketball experience by participating in more competitive events, mostly in the "basketball" off season.

VABA BRUINS basketball is founded on the philosophy that, through a consistent team setting, with a qualified, trained and experienced coach, preparing for top-flight competition, the greatest opportunities exist to carry out the mission of character and skill development. Our goal is to prepare young people, through the game of basketball, for the next step in their lives and beyond.


The purpose of the VABA Bruins is to provide a basketball experience to committed student-athletes that will foster a year-round period of individual and team development.
The VABA Bruins:
(1) Are grounded in the core mission of VABA
(2) Create continuity in a consistent team environment
(3) Avoid direct conflicts with winter teams (VDBL)
(4) Provide a competitive level of basketball for individuals who want to participate at an elite level
(5) Continue to foster relationships amongst athletes and families from different parts of the area

Coaches Selection

In order to properly carry out the VABA Mission, the most critical element is the quality, competence, knowledge and experience of the coaches. A VABA coach is a mentor. All VABA Bruins coaches must be approved by VABA's Executive Director after having completed VABA's professionally-designed Coaches Training Core Curriculum. This includes fulfilling all classroom and on-court training sessions as well as undergoing coach evaluations in VABA's winter developmental league. We believe this is the only AAU basketball program in this area that not only requires such comprehensive standards, but conducts the training and evaluation sessions as well. All teams have a head coach, an assistant coach, and a team manager.


VABA Bruins may field teams at all ages (including 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th and grade levels. Bruins teams are formed provided a team has a VABA-trained coach and a roster of athletes.  

Bruins Team Assignments may either be on the "Competitive" level (i.e. travel) or the "Developmental" level.  Competitive teams are preparing for potential travel tournaments.  Developmental team members may be "called up" to Competitive teams, and may participate in tournaments based on the coaches discretion (determining developmental preparedness).  

Student-Athlete and Family Commitment

Players and their families must be able to commit to the practice days and times, tournaments and games as a condition of being selected to the team. At the discretion of the coach, failure to follow through with the commitment may result in a player being removed from the team.  Team members and parents must be positive and encouraging, supporting their coach and his/her philosophy, despite the many challenges one may face within a competitive setting. 


VABA Bruins program costs will include team uniforms, gym reservation costs, and tournament entry fees. Fund-raisers are organized by participating coaches and are an option to help curb costs for families. Personal travel costs such as meals and lodging are not included.

Scholarship Support

VABA is committed to fostering participation in its programs without regard to a family's ability to pay. To that end, VABA offers scholarships and financial aid and encourages any otherwise interested athlete/family to contact VABA directly about scholarship availability. Click here for more information on the VABA Scholarship Program.

Bruins Coaches Registration

Click here to register as a Bruins Coach!

Can I play Bruins and still play my in-season (spring) sport?

Yes!  Bruins teams may adopt a more balanced schedule for athletes participating in their spring/fall sport (usually 1x/week practice).  However, for athletes choosing to dedicate themselves solely to basketball, a more rigorous schedule may also be agreed upon. Schedules are determined by the coach and the interested families, but a solid commitment would be expected.  Tournament scheduling (on weekends) is handled similarly.

2017 National 12th-place
U14 Bruins

National Runner's Up 2016
U11 Lady Bruins

Background & Philosophy

The Virginia Basketball Academy's mission is to "build character and shape lives through the game of basketball." VABA seeks to carry out its mission in a number of ways, including through travel basketball teams that practice and compete in AAU tournaments throughout the calendar year. For those Bruins teams, grades 5 - 8, the VABA Bruins program is carried out in addition to the VDBL teams that practice and compete during the winter basketball season only.

Mascot Name (Why Bruins?)

The Bruins name originates with John Wooden, the long-time UCLA Bruins coach and the inspiration for VABA and VABA's philosophy of character development. Coach Wooden is widely regarded as the most successful coach in history, not only because of the record 10 National Championships his teams won, but most importantly because of his emphasis on moral and physical condition, doing one's best and team spirit. The VABA Bruins serve to carry on the legacy of his name by representing his team's mascot and the standards of excellence they will forever epitomize.

Tryouts and Team Formation

The coaches for each VABA Bruin team determine the roster size and make player selections. This is accomplished through either an open tryout or personal invitation. Interested athletes should inquire or request to participate on specific teams as soon as possible, and should communicate directly with VABA ( Practice days and times and tournament schedules are determined by the coaches and communicated to the team's families when they sign up.