Chelsea’s New Mr. Basketball: Yamir Rodriguez Has Built a Successful Youth Program

Yamir Rodriguez had two very big reasons to celebrate after the CYBL Junior League championship game at the Williams School gymansium.

One was that the Wildcats team he so ably coaches, put on a defensive clinic in a 21-11 victory over the Red Storm, completing an undefeated season and capturing the Junior League title.

CYBL President Yamir Rodriguez is pictured during the Junior
League championship game as he led his undefeated Wildcats team to the title.

Two, and perhaps more significantly to the city and CYBL President Yamir Rodriguez himself, was that the game and the Senior League final that followed drew large and spirited crowds of the players’ families, classmates, friends, teachers, and even school principal Michelle Martinello, who sat courtside for both title games.

This was Chelsea youth sports at its best, and Rodriguez, league president for the past decade, certainly deserves a lot of the credit. After two years of the pandemic, the CYBL is back, and Rodriguez couldn’t be more optimistic about its future.

“We had more than 200 players on 18 different teams,” said Rodriguez, a 2005 Chelsea High School graduate who played basketball. “We’re excited about the success of the league this year, especially since we haven’t had a full season in two years.”

Rodriguez, 35, previously served as District 7 councillor for six years, but has no plans to return to the political arena. He was a gymnasium assistant to John Montes at the Jordan Boys and Girls Club for nine years. He currently works in the Arlington Parks and Recreation Department as a facility coordinator.

Councillor-at-Large Leo Robinson, Yamir’s former colleague in city government, praised the undisputed king of youth basketball in Chelsea.

“Yamir has done an outstanding job working with the kids of Chelsea,” said Robinson, a former CYBL coach with Brucie Harrison’s Bucks. “He has an AAU travel team and he’s making the Chelsea league grow. I take my hat off to him. He’s been an excellent leader and a fine ambassador for basketball in our community.”

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