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Youth Hoops Tip Off Clinics At RHS
Going through a dribbling drill, a young hoops enthusiast takes part in one of many basketball drills hosted on the RHS campus on Saturday. A second clinic will be offered on Jan. 14, followed by several weeks of basketball games for boys and girls in first through eighth grades. Ric McGinnis/The News

Young basketball players, both boys and girls, along with their parents, gathered at the Ray Fauria Memorial Gymnasium on the Riverbank High School campus on Saturday. Though it may have been wet and windy outside, it was hot and humid in the gym, as plenty of young athletes were introduced to the sport of basketball.

It was the first of six weekly sessions for students in first through eighth grades to learn the basic of basketball. Clinics are overseen by RHS basketball coaches, former and current athletes.

The first two sessions, this past Saturday and this week on Jan. 14, will consist of skills clinics, where players work to develop the reflexes needed to play the game. The following four weeks will include games on a similar schedule.

Classes are taught by RHS boys and girls currently playing for the Bruins, with oversight by coaches and former players. Members of the RHS Leadership Class also helped out.

The gym floor was packed this past week for any one session, with players covering the floor, rotating through the different learning stations, while parents and families waited around the periphery.

To accommodate all the players, the gym’s cross-court baskets and backboards are used. A special feature of that equipment is its ability to be lowered for the younger players to easily use.

According to RHS boys varsity head coach Jeff Jennings, when the new gym was designed, the annual youth clinic was taken into account. The cross-court baskets were installed with a mechanism that lowers the backboard so the younger players can actually make baskets, according to Jennings. He said in the old Bruin gym, lower backboards and baskets had to be hung over those that are part of the gym.

Next Saturday’s clinics will be held, from 9:15 a.m. to 10 a.m. for first and second graders. For third and fourth graders, it will be 10:15 a.m. to 11 a.m., and the fifth and sixth grade as well as seventh and eighth grade clinics will be held at the same time, from 11:15 a.m. to noon.

The games in the following weeks are scheduled to be played between 9 a.m. and noon.

According to organizers, it is not too late to sign up for the clinic.