The Long Island Nets, in partnership with NBA athletes, brought an exciting opportunity to Freeport students.
A one-day basketball clinic was held at J.W. Dodd Middle School on March 11 offering students from grades four to eight a chance to improve their basketball skills through on-court lessons on dribbling, footwork, passing, and shooting.
The Nets players also taught valuable lessons about teamwork, leadership, and responsibility through basketball. The event was free, ensuring that everyone could participate regardless of their financial situation.
By hosting the clinic, the Nets are striving to be a pillar of the Long Island community and focus on education, health and wellness, and community development.
“The clinic is well organized and well received by the kids,” Richard Bloom, the director of health and athletics at Freeport Schools, said. “The kids just seem to be very happy, and they’re sharpening their skills, which is a plus.”
The Nets organization believes in giving back to the community, and the clinic was just one part of their efforts. As part of their community outreach program, they also offer education day games catered towards elementary, middle, and high school students.
Wade Richardson, the Nets’ community relations manager, oversees the community outreach program and ensures that the organization is making a positive impact in the community.
“These kids have a great time and enjoy themselves at an event like this,” Richardson said. “It’s a day for them to be out of school, but also to learn about the importance of basketball, mixed with STEM and just education as a whole.”
As the students were coached by Hananiah Damus and Myles Mills, they practiced passing and dribbling, and learned new techniques for proper footwork and shooting form.
“It’s nice to learn from professionals and work on skills and technique, especially since basketball season is over,” Isaiah Richardson, a seventh-grader and and the middle school boys’ basketball team point guard, said.
By organizing events such as basketball clinics and education day games, the Nets are making a significant contribution to the development of young people in the Freeport community and beyond.
“The students are going to walk away today motivated to further their passion for basketball or any other sport they’re interested in and delve a little deeper,” Bloom said.
The Nets are owned and operated by BSC Global and manages other teams such as the Brooklyn Nets, New York Liberty, and Nets Gaming Crew.
The organization focuses on developing players who can make the Brooklyn Nets or any NBA parent team. This means that the Long Island Nets are not only invested in promoting basketball skills within the community but also in developing top-quality players for the NBA.
“I knew that the clinic was coming, and I really wanted my son to be a part of it,” parent Michele Vasquez said. “I mean, it’s the Long Island Nets, it’s not something that is an everyday occurrence.”
Parents, students and school officials were thrilled with the opportunity to participate in the clinic with it offering free basketball and education day games.
“As early as the elementary level, it is important to offer different programs so students have a well-rounded education that focuses not only on academic success, but physical activity and wellness as well,” School Superintendent Kishore Kuncham said. “In addition to bringing us the basketball clinic, we participate in Long Island Nets Education Day, and Teacher Recognition each year. We appreciate our partnership with the Long Island Nets.”
At the end of the day, many students walked away from the clinic feeling a sense of improvement after the practice.
“I practiced basketball and learned new things because I just want to learn how to play the sport to get better,” eighth grade student Nicholas Morales said. “I learned new moves and new techniques on how to shoot.”