It Takes a Village; New York City Reaches Out to Community Through Basketball Clinic
Nets Center Brook Lopez motivates a young, student athlete who participated in the basketball clinic at his school, Bushwick Campus, hosted by the U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion New York City. A surprise appearance by Lopez -- to motivate the athletes to stay focused and stay in school -- rounded out a photograph and autograph session post event.

FORT HAMILTON, N.Y. - If it takes a village to raise a child, then it's easy to understand why the New York City Army Recruiting Battalion does its part to mentor and guide students in the neighborhoods of the five boroughs of New York City, Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester Counties.

As a credible partner in the education of today's students and athletes, the U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion New York City provided another level of community outreach to the students by way of a free, one-hour basketball clinic to help the student-athletes of Brooklyn's Bushwick Campus improve their basketball skills.

The clinic boasted 40 minutes of practice time with one-on-one attention from four Nets Basketball clinicians and a feature appearance by Nets Basketball Center, Brook Lopez. Lopez participated by motivating the athletes during the clinic as well as encouraging the students to stay in school. The clinic focused on basic fundamentals of basketball-handling techniques like dribbling, passing and shooting, said David Brown, the Nets Basketball clinician who instructed the event. Additionally, the players were taught how to make their arms wide and their legs soft when working on their defense.

For 19-year old Dameon who wishes to be a professional basketball player after high school, "This clinic is an opportunity for me to learn something new from a professional NBA player and improve my game."

"We are very happy to have the Nets come to Bushwick Campus," said Vernon Dye, the school's athletic director. "The Nets are coming here to show you [student players] some good skills to improve your game!"

More than 30 young, student-athletes took to the court for the clinic complete with running, passing, shooting and laughing. Following the clinic, players were given an opportunity to participate in an autograph and photograph session with Lopez, the seven-foot tall, 265-pound professional basketball player.

Nets Basketball has been a partner of the U.S. Army's Partnership for Youth Success Program for approximately four years, enabling the frequent occurrence of these community outreach basketball clinics across the boroughs and in Long Island.

"The Nets share values similar to the U.S. Army -- teamwork, loyalty (to their fans) and selfless service -- which makes them an excellent partner for the U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion New York City," said Lt. Col. Omuso D. George, commander of the U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion New York City.

Page last updated Fri March 11th, 2011 at 15:06