Before the general public arrived for the MAC clash between Miami and Kent State, there were over 50 young future basketball players hoping to become fundamentally sound and learn something new at a pregame clinic hosted by the Miami Men's Basketball team.
The partnership between Miami Basketball and Fairfield Township Youth Basketball League (FTYBL) was formed by the Marketing Sales department. The purpose of the clinic is to help kids, ages 6 - 14, learn the fundamentals of basketball. In addition, the student-athletes also learn from the kids at the clinic.
"The kids remind you about why you love this game as you see in their eyes the passion and more importantly the fun in basketball" stated junior Drew McGhee.
First-year coach John Cooper welcomed campers and provided a 20-minute instruction which covered such topics as listening to your parents and the importance of fundamentals.
"I enjoy teaching the game of basketball regardless of the age of the audience. These kids were energetic, fun and attentive" stated Coach Cooper. After Coach Cooper's speech, marketing interns and several Miami basketball student-athletes began instruction at seven stations. The station activities covered dribbling skills, shooting technique, passing and defense. The seven age groups rotated from station to station and concluded with a shootout game.
There was energy in Miami's sub-gym by more than 50 kids, bouncing balls and six baskets while 100 parents surrounded the court taking photos of every moment.
"It's exciting to see your child working with these student-athletes, as they reinforce everything you try to instill in your children through sports - team work, hard work and sportsmanship," said one parent of a participant.
"We are excited to host this clinic before the game as the kids' experience does not stop there. At the game, the kids participate in the fan tunnel to meet and greet the basketball team before tip. The goal with this partnership is to inspire, educate and excite future RedHawks. The Sales team (Dan and Scott) continue to use creativity to impact local youth while simultaneously showcasing our student-athletes," shared Anthony J. Azama, Assistant Athletic Director for Marketing and Sales.
More than 150 tickets were sold through this partnership with FTYBL for the Kent State game. The FTYBL also participates in Youth Day for football during the fall. There were 710 tickets sold through group sales for that game.