With the new year, and new decade, Riverbank youngsters interested in improving their basketball skills began again to practice on Saturday morning, Jan. 4. It was the first day for this year’s edition of the Youth Basketball Clinic, held in the Ray Fauria Memorial Gymnasium on the RHS campus.
And this year marks the 50th anniversary of its founding.
The youth hoops clinic program was founded two years after the high school campus opened to classes, and started by then-basketball coach Ron Peterson. It was his first year in Riverbank.
It is for Peterson, also, that Riverbank’s annual boys basketball Tip-Off Tournament is named. Peterson was present at the first day of clinic action this past weekend, with his son, and cheering on a grandchild.
The young basketball participants participated in age-group sessions.
The clinic began on Saturday with practice sessions, mentored by the Riverbank High School players and coaches, where they worked on ball handling, passing, dribbling, and shooting. The groups rotated through eight stations of skills practice in the gym, with the youngest aided by lowered basketball hoops so they didn’t have to shoot as high as their older counterparts.
The clinic portion of the program will continue on Saturday, Jan. 11 with the scrimmage games scheduled for the four weeks after that, ending in mid-February.
Sessions for basketball are divided up by age group, with first and second graders from 9:15 a.m. to 10 a.m.; and third and fourth graders from 10:15 a.m. to 11 a.m.
After that, the clinics include both fifth and sixth graders and seventh and eighth graders working out from 11:15 a.m. to noon.
The snack bar at the gym is open during the clinic, staffed by the Bruins Booster organization, for parents and friends waiting who are hungry or thirsty. Last week, a selection of breakfast burritos were offered for sale as well.