Magic Coaches and Players Host Basketball Clinic for Children of Season Ticket Holders

by Josh Cohen

ORLANDO – Getting invited to exclusive events and participating in fun activities with Orlando Magic coaches and players are benefits of being a team season ticket holder.

It’s also great for the kids, as the Magic host various events for them to enjoy throughout the year.

One of them occurred on Sunday afternoon at Amway Center’s AdventHealth Practice Facility, where over 70 children of season ticket holders learned the fundamentals of the game from the Magic’s coaches and players.

“It was very fun playing with some of my favorite players in the league,” clinic participant Ruben Restrepo said. “It was a great experience.”

Restrepo’s cousins, Sebastian and Alejandro Yepes, also had a blast while receiving expert instruction from their favorite players. Not only did Sunday’s event create memorable stories that they will now share with family and friends, it motivated them to work even harder on their basketball skills.

“I understand that some of the best players put the most effort in and take the most time to work on even the smallest skills and smallest things like footwork,” Sebastian Yepes said. “It means a lot to me that the coaches and players come out and teach us their sport and their skills.”

The coaches and players had a ton of fun as well. Wes Iwundu, a big proponent of basketball camps after attending many of them during his youth, enjoys being a mentor to kids. Seeing the smiles on their faces, he emphasized, never gets old.

“This is always one of my favorite moments of the season,” the 6-foot-6 small forward said. “This is what it’s all about; having fun with the game of basketball and just making friendships. It's good for us just interacting with them.”

Another Magic player who was delighted to show the kids a thing or two about the game was newcomer James Ennis III, whom Orlando acquired in a trade just a few days ago from the Philadelphia 76ers. Even though he just arrived in Orlando, the 29-year-old NBA veteran can already tell the Magic care deeply about children in the community, something he feels strongly about as well.

“It’s huge because that’s what it’s about,” he said. “I never got a chance to be in a clinic with NBA players like that, so it’s huge. They watch us on TV and stuff like that and to come back here and help out, that makes their day and sometimes that makes their whole life. So, it’s a good thing.”

Through the Magic’s basketball camps and clinics presented by UnitedHealthcare, youth not only learn the game of basketball, but also the importance of teamwork, sportsmanship, leadership and health and wellness to accomplish their goals. Each year, the Magic and UnitedHealthcare provide 50 kids with full scholarships to attend Magic basketball camps in the summer.

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