Illinois Rockets Boys Basketball


Summer League


After a 2 year hiatus due to the global pandemic, the Illinois Rockets summer league returned for its 25th season last Saturday (June 4th) at Benet Academy.

The games were spirited and the competition was excellent, and we were blessed to have Ram Gopal return yet again, to referee the boys games in the Main gym.

Ram has participated in all 25 Rockets summer leagues, beginning as a player/participant his first 5 years, and then as a referee/gym monitor the last 20 years.

We can’t thank Ram enough for his support of our Rockets summer league.  If you get a chance, give him a pat on the back next time he referees one of your games!




The original NYBA basketball summer league was created in the summer of 1997, by Drew Ondik. As a kid, Drew remembered taking his bicycle and riding a mile or two to the local playground in Pittsburgh on summer days, and playing pick-up ball with the community kids. No structure – just kids playing 5-on-5 for hours at a time, all summer long. 

In today’s world, things aren’t as simple or charming as that, unfortunately. We rarely let our kids out of our sight. So, to capture the spirit of those 5-on-5 games on summer days, we started humbly in 1997, with 36 boys, 4 teams and an outdoor court (Westglen Park). In 1999, we expanded to 100 kids (10 teams) and we moved indoors to Lincoln Jr. High. Additionally, we went to a two-tiered league approach, to ensure that skill levels could be matched so as to encourage a competitive “evenness.”  

We strictly play man-to-man defense, and while we have volunteer coaches for each team, they are there more to give encouragement than to provide structure or strategy. 

This summer, we are again expecting as many as 300 kids (boys and girls), in grade levels 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 (for the 2016-17 school year).  It is not a co-ed league.  We will be using Benet Academy, as well as other local public and private facilities, with games at 8, 9, 10 and 11 a.m  on Saturdays in June and July. Each child receives a reversible game jersey at the outset of the season, and a t-shirt at season’s end. We provide game balls, referees, scoreboards and clocks. 

The philosophy of the Illinois Rockets Summer League remains a simple one: We provide a safe, supervised basketball summer league program, where emphasis is placed on skills development and fun! We insist that parents not become zealously interested in game outcomes. We want to think of this league in terms of those playground games on summer days, where there were no adults around and it was just you and your buddies......

24th Annual Summer League

We are looking forward to a great summer of basketball!

The goal of the Summer League is simply to have your kids play ball in a safe and supervised fashion. Emphasis will be on skills development and FUN!!

 ∆ WHO: 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th grade Boys and Girls (For the 2020-21 school year) 

∆ WHERE: Games will be played at Benet Academy, 2200 Maple Ave., Lisle, IL 60532 

∆ WHEN: Saturday mornings – Games played between 8 a.m. and Noon, June 6th through July 25th, 2019. Except July 4th - No Games

∆ COST: $125 per child, which includes game jersey, referees, gym time, and a Summer League T-shirt.

Need More Info?

Program Questions? Email Drew Ondik,

Registration Questions? Email Bob Bray,

∆ PLEASE NOTE: There will be no evaluation sessions this year. All participants will be assigned to a team. REGISTER ONLINE TODAY!

If you have an online account, please visit At the top left of the main page, log-in under “Parents/Players Click Here”.

If you do not have an online account, you will need to create one prior to registering. To create an account, follow the directions above and after you “CLICK HERE”, choose the “Create a New Account” option and follow the prompts.

Gopal Makes it 24 Straight Summers

Ram Gopal, pictured with Rockets Summer League founder, Drew Ondik, has participated in all 24 seasons of the Illinois Rockets Summer League.

Starting as one of the 36 players in the initial league, played outdoors at Westglen Park in Naperville, Ram has participated as either a player or a referee since the league’s inception in 1997.  Additionally, for many years, Ram opened, set-up and closed at the various facilities used for the games.

The Illinois Rockets thank Ram for all his contributions to the success of our annual summer league!


Summer League will be held at:

Benet Academy
2200 Maple Avenue
Lisle, IL 60532
CLICK HERE for a map

Questions can be directed to Drew Ondik at

Summer League


Lauren Dorneau (a.k.a. Beast Mode)

Top photo with Drew Ondik - 6/11/22 and bottom photo - 6/2018

"Lauren plays with a ferocious intensity but is one of the sweetest kids we've ever had in the IL Rockets Summer League." (Drew Ondik)

Contact us

If you have any additional questions please click name to email contact:

Boys Program: 

Girls GS Program: 

Girls HS Program: Drew Ondik

Financial Questions:  

Website/Registrations Questions:  



Additional Information

Interested in playing for:


Rockets Girls HS Team Spring/Summer  

Please Contact Drew Ondik 


Rockets Boys High School Team 

Please Contact 

Rockets Social Media

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