Crustacean Nation: Red Claws clinic a big draw
FARMINGTON - Twenty-five budding basketball players got a few tips from the professionals at a free, 90-minute summer clinic held in the Mt. Blue Shopping Center this morning.
Former Maine Red Claws forward Eugene Spates and Claws' point guard Kenny Hayes, taught three-year-olds to 12-year-olds a few basketballs fundamentals on an impromptu court set up in the parking lot next to the sponsoring Dunkin' Donuts restaurant on Wilton Road.
Farmington is the ninth of 12 towns in Maine and New Hampshire where the clinics are being held by the Maine Red Claws, a minor league affiliate of the Boston Celtics. The NBA development league in its fourth season, plays its home games at the Portland Expo.
"This is a great turnout," said Cam Twiss, the Claws' operations manager. The clinic caravan tours with two portable basketball goals, balls, tents and stickers for participants. "The players have a good time and it's been fun," he added. This is the third year the clinics have been held.
Hayes, this year's most improved player recipient, lined up along with the young players for a little warm-up led by former CLaws' forward Spates. The players then worked through several passing, ball handling and shooting fundamentals.
Appreciating the visit was Norridgewock Muscles coach, Roger Stinson. His fifth- and sixth-grade players faithfully followed the pros from warm-ups through the drills for 90-minutes of valuable practice, Stinson said.
"Anything to do with basketball is a very special thing," he said. As Stinson watched his players work on their skills, many parents and grandparents stood nearby grinning.