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Former NBA and WNBA Players to Provide Instruction at July 28 Camp

 PORTLAND, MAINE (June 17, 2009) – The Maine Red Claws, presented by Quirk Chevrolet, and Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA, along with the Portland Recreation Department, today announced that they will host a Pledge to Be a S.T.A.R. summer camp on July 28, 2009. The daylong camp will host more than 250 players from ages 8-13 from the Portland Recreation Department and fifteen other local recreation departments. It is designed to teach basketball fundamentals while emphasizing the values of the game and of the Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA program – Sportsmanship, Teamwork, a positive Attitude, and Respect (S.T.A.R.). There is no charge for the invitation-only camp, and participants must be a member of the participating recreation departments.

 The camp will be held at the Portland Exposition Building, the home of the Maine Red Claws, and will feature former NBA and WNBA players providing instruction with assistance from Red Claws’ staff. The camps will also feature NBA FIT clinics to highlight the importance of physical activity and healthy living practices as well as a Parents’ Seminar, where campers’ parents will have the opportunity to learn how they can positively impact their child’s youth sports experience. Portland will be one of only eight locations to hold a Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA camp this summer; the tour kicks off in Nebraska on June 17.

“Portland Recreation is excited to participate in this camp opportunity for Maine children who have learned to know and love the game of basketball through community leagues and clinics,” said Sally L. DeLuca, Recreation Division Manager for the city of Portland.

“This camp will be a wonderful opportunity for Maine kids to learn from the best, and it is indicative of the kinds of programs the Red Claws hope to make available to our community now and in the future,” said Maine Red Claws President and General Manager Jon Jennings. “This program teaches kids not only basketball skills but also the skills to live a fit – and fun – lifestyle.”

In addition to the Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA camp, which is invitation-only, the Red Claws will also hold the Red Claws Basketball Academy and Junior Red Claws Basketball Camp from August 17-21. Instruction for those camps, which are open to the public, will be provided by Red Claws coaching staff and Boston Celtics legend K.C. Jones will be a special guest on the final day. For more information, visit www.maineredclaws.com.

JR. NBA/JR. WNBA: In its eighth season, the Jr. NBA/ Jr. WNBA is a grassroots program that has grown the game of youth basketball through recognition programs such as the Gatorade Championship Series, National Skills Competition, Pledge to a S.T.A.R Summer Camps, Clinic Series, National Team and Coach of the Year. During this time, the program has reached more than 11 million players, parents and coaches globally, providing a support structure that not only encourages participation, but also makes the game fun and rewarding. Young players can create a bond with the game while learning what it takes to be successful away from the court, all at no cost.

MAINE RED CLAWS: 2009-10 will mark the inaugural season for the Maine Red Claws. The NBA D-League team will begin play in November at the Portland Expo Building. The franchise is owned and operated by Maine Basketball, LLC, which is principally owned by Bill Ryan Sr., the chairman of TD Banknorth Group, and Bill Ryan Jr., owner and operator of Oxford Plains Speedway. Jon Jennings, a partner in Maine Basketball, LLC and former Boston Celtics assistant coach, serves as the team’s president and general manager.