Junior Celtics Host Final Skills Clinic of Season
ROXBURY, Mass. – The third and final installment of the Jr. Celtics skills clinic, in partnership with New England Baptist Hospital, took place Saturday afternoon at the Madison Park/O’Bryant High School complex.
Youth members from four different YMCA and Boston Center for Youths and Families (BCYF) sites entered the gym wearing their Jr. Celtics T-shirts and headbands.
“Good afternoon,” said Jr. Celtics coordinator Dave Hoffman. “You all look ready to go! Today you will be working on six different drills that our coaches and training staff recommended. They use these drills with our players and in order to be a great basketball player, you need to be able to perfect these skills.”
After being divided among two courts, the youth began to warm up in anticipation of their skills workout. Once the jumping jacks, leg, and arm stretching had commenced, the youth began their workout. Skill stations included layups, weave dribbling, defensive slides, passing, speed dribbling and ladder work.
While the youth were performing these skills and recording their times, Celtics forward Brandon Bass arrived to assist. He demonstrated some of the drills for the youth and wasn’t afraid to have a kid attempt the drill again until he or she performed it correctly.
“You have to keep practicing until you get it right,” Bass encouraged.
Following the lengthy workout, which lasted for an hour and a half, the youth returned to the bleachers to cool off and hear from Bass.
“I was impressed with what I saw today,” said the forward. “I saw people working hard but more importantly having a whole lot of fun!” Bass then talked about his background and how he made it to the NBA.
“To get to this point where I’m at today, it took a lot of work,” Bass said. “First and foremost, I had to get good grades. Without the grades I would have never been eligible to play basketball. From there I was always obedient and listened to my parents, teachers and coaches. I went to practice every day and gave it my best efforts. That’s what you all need to do.”
Bass then discussed his progression into college.
“I was fortunate to go to LSU and having grown up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, it was nice to be near home,” he said. “Then I was drafted to the New Orleans Hornets. My NBA journey has included playing for the Dallas Mavericks, Orlando Magic and now the Celtics.”
He finished up his conversation with the youngsters by encouraging them to work hard on their skills.
“You all have a great opportunity with the Jr. Celtics program,” Bass said. “You’re learning the drills that you need to be great at to play in the NBA. I learned these drills later on in my basketball career and you all have a head start. Embrace this opportunity!”