A 12-year-old boy who brandished a knife while threatening another youth earlier this month has received an unusual sentence.

The boy, who can’t be identified under provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act, pleaded guilty Wednesday in Lethbridge youth court to single counts of assault with a weapon and possession of a weapon.

When it came time for sentencing, Judge Derek Redman ordered the boy to practise basketball.

During the court proceedings, Redman questioned the underprivileged boy about his life and aspirations, and was told the boy wants to play basketball, even though he doesn’t play on a team and doesn’t even own a basketball.

Redman noted the boy did not have a criminal record and had already spent seven days in custody, so he placed him on probation for 12 months and ordered him to practise dribbling and shooting a basketball for at least five hours a week.

When the boy said he doesn’t own a basketball, Redman said that would be taken care of and instructed the court sheriff to get one for him before he was released.

Court was told that late last week the boy pulled out a knife and demanded money from another 12-year-old boy who was walking home from school.

The accused, who said he found the knife, chased the other boy but ran away after his intended victim asked for help from a nearby resident.