Upward Basketball is a first-class sports experience that emphasizes healthy competition, sportsmanship, skills building and fun versus the "win-at-all-cost mentality" found in many children's sports leagues.

At Upward Basketball, we seek to develop the self-esteem of boys and girls, while teaching sportsmanship, character, athletic skills, faith in God and respect for authority in every situation.

This basketball season, participate in a league that will redefine the word winner by signing your child up for Upward Basketball. You will provide a lasting effect in your child that will live well beyond the end of the season.

We aim to provide the best sports experience for your child. By best, we mean that at the end of the season, we want you to be thinking, "That is exactly what I wanted my child to experience." From the skills and drills, to the lessons on life, to the game-day experience, your child is the focus.

The early registration cost per child is $150. Starting October 9, the cost is $170.

The deadline for registration is October 21, 2017

Space is limited. Sign up today!

When your child plays Upward Basketball, he/she will:

  • Practice and play a game every week
  • Get equal playing time!
  • Learn techniques to improve his/her basketball skills
  • Receive special recognition awards after every game
  • Develop new friendships

Along with this unique sports experience, your child will receive:

  • Upward Basketball T-shirt
  • Upward Basketball jersey
  • Upward Basketball car magnet
  • Access to www.teamupward.com

Upward Basketball is a ministry of Northern Bergen County churches

Things To Know

  • Upward Basketball serves children from many different towns. Due to this fact, we unfortunately cannot take requests for friends to be on the same team. Part of the Upward experience is meeting new people and making new friends.

  • However, we do take single carpool requests. We will make every effort to place children in a carpool situation on the same practice night and time, which doesn't necessarily mean the same team. Please keep in mind with more than 300 children in the program, we can't guarantee to accommodate every request.

  • When you sign up, you select one night that your child cannot practice. We will build teams based on this information.Should you have a future scheduling conflict, we may not be able to accommodate a change. If a scheduling conflict occurs, we will refund 100% of your fee if you tell us before January 1.

  • At Upward, we do our best to build equal teams, which is why Evaluation Nights are important. Everyone MUST attend one Evaluation Night at Bethlehem Lutheran Church's Gym in Ridgewood. The evaluation should take about 45 minutes.


  • All practices will be held on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday nights at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Ridgewood.
    • 1-2 graders: 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.
    • 3-4 graders: 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.
    • 5-6 graders: 7:30 - 8:30 p.m.
  • Games will be held on Sundays at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Ridgewood for all divisions except 5-6 grade boys. 5-6 grade boys will play games on Friday Nights at 6:30 and 7:30 pm.
    • Games on Sundays start at 12:30 p.m. The Last game on Sunday ends at 8:30 p.m.


If you'd like to be considered for a role as a volunteer head coach, assistant coach, emcee (delivering NBA-style player introductions) or any other position in Upward Basketball, please email upwardridgewood@gmail.com Upward Basketball is run completely by volunteers.

If you'd like to volunteer as a referee, please contact Ref Commissioner Rich Wrede at rwrede78@gmail.com.

Upward Basketball is supported entirely by volunteers. We appreciate your interest and support. Thank you!

Volunteers needed: Details: email upwardridgewood@gmail.com to find out how you can help. Upward is 100% run by volunteers


If you notify us that you want out of the league before December 15, we will refund 100% of your $150 registration fee (late registration fees not included). After that date, we will refund 50% of your $150 registration fee.

All monies will be provided via a check from Bethlehem. There is no need to do anything with your credit card company if you paid by credit card online. Thank you.



ALL players must attend one evaluation session to be sized for jerseys and shorts, height and skill evaluation.

Tuesday, October 24th:

5:30 - 7:00 - Boys 1st Grade Evaluations

7:00 - 8:00 - Girls 1st Grade Evaluations

8:00 - 9:00 - Boys 5/6 Grade Evaluations

Wednesday, October 25th:

5:30 - 7:00 - Boys 2nd Grade Evaluations

7:00 - 8:00 - Girls 2nd Grade Evaluations

8:00 - 9:00 - Girls 5/6 Grade Evaluations

Thursday, October 26th:

5:30 - 7:00 - Boys and Girls 3rd Grade Evaluations

7:00 - 8:30 - Boys and Girls 4th Grade Evaluations

Evaluations will take approximately 45 minutes.

  • The season is eight weeks long, with two preseason practices (10 weeks total).
  • Weekly games and practices are one hour each.
  • Practices begin the week of January 2, 2018.
  • Games begin Sunday January 14, 2018
  • Awards Night: Week of March 12, 2018 (Date TBD) at 7 pm, Location TBD - every child will receive an end-of-season award from his/her coach.


Regency Wealth Management
Giaccio, Hosier & Associates
Bug Doctor

RDG Construction

Athletes in Action
Bethlehem Early Learning Center
Premier Web Solutions LLC

Barts Pantry

For information on how to become a sponsor, contact Rich Wrede