Local Youth Members Enjoy Clinic in Waltham
WALTHAM, Mass. – Late Saturday afternoon at the Celtics training facility in Waltham, Mass., 23 teenagers prepared to strengthen their basketball skills at the Bank of America Skills Clinic featuring Delonte West and Celtics legend Dana Barros.
Decked out in Celtics mesh jerseys, basketball shorts and shoes, the participants entered the gymnasium and were immediately drawn to the 17 World Championship banners hanging on the walls. One child noticed the blank banner on the wall and asked why it was up there.
West smiled and replied, “That’s the 18th banner that we’re hoping to bring home this year!”
With introductions made, the group wasted no time getting to work.
“Before you do any type of physical activity, you should always stretch first,” said West.
To that extent, the youth stretched out their arms and legs, followed by their ankles and neck. Further, in order to get circulation going throughout their bodies, Barros had them run in place for 30 seconds.
The youth were then divided into groups and went to work on refining their skills. To add to the excitement, three of the kids’ coaches participated in the drills... and quickly became winded.
Barros led the offensive drills by assisting kids on their shooting form. After meticulously working with each of the kids on their shooting, he then helped with their ball-handling. Bringing it full-circle, Barros ended his offensive session with the kids dribbling up to the half court line, turning around and dribbling toward the free-throw line for a jump shot.
On the other side of the court, West was honing in on defense.
“Defense is the most important thing when playing basketball,” said No. 13.
The group did several defensive slides as West looked on to make sure their stances were correct. A communication lesson followed.
“When you’re on defense, you’ve got to communicate with your teammates,” explained West. “When a pick is coming or a shot goes up, you’ve got to let everyone know.”
It got really noisy on the defensive end after West’s speech and it seemed like the youth were listening closely to both West’s and Barros’ instructions.
The clinic wrapped up with an autograph signing session and the kids and coaches thanking both West and Barros for their help.
“It’s always fun to work with kids at a clinic,” said West. “A lot of people helped me along the way with basketball and I want to do the same for our youth today.”