My mailbox is filled these days with various basketball offerings available to players and coaches this month.
Yes, it is a tad early for hoop tidings, but one thing is certain when you’re talking basketball: It has become a year-round activity.
The Maine Association of Basketball Coaches has announced the date for its annual fall coaches seminar or clinic. This year, the proceedings will be held at Colby College in Waterville on Friday and Saturday.
Featured speakers this year include Dan Costigan, an assistant coach at Cheverus in Portland; Lori Gear-McBride, head women’s coach at Colby College of Waterville; Bill Herrion, head men’s hoop boss at the University of New Hampshire; Joanne P. McCallie, head women’s basketball coach at Michigan State; and Ann McInerney, the new women’s basketball coach at the University of Maine.
Topics range from strength training to transition offense. The two-day event provides coaches and hoop enthusiasts the chance to learn, mingle, and enjoy the emotional surge and camaraderie that these events provide.
In Auburn, at Central Maine Community College, athletic director Dave Gonyea has put together another crackerjack month for players and coaches.
On Saturday and Sunday, Gonyea and his staff will host CMCC’s fifth annual coaches clinic.
Gonyea offers a menu of simultaneous presentations, giving coaches of all levels – Dave likes to get the state’s youth coaches involved, too – the opportunity to pick and choose subjects of their liking.
Featured clinicians for the weekend include Max Good, who is currently the head men’s hoop coach at Bryant College; McInerney; and Mike Osborne of Johnston State.
Topics range from shooting to attacking zones.
Dave Gonyea should be called an entrepreneur of hoops because of his capacity to come up with the most popular mode of basketball offerings for the playing and coaching audience.
This year, CMCC continues its off-season schedule with its excellent Point Guard Camps. Boys action is scheduled for Oct. 23, with the girls close behind on Nov. 6.
These camps are top-notch.
In recent years, the sport of basketball has become a year-round event.
In researching our new book, “Calendar Coaching Guide,” we set out to record and document the habits of coaches and players over a 12-month period.
The fascinating aspect of our study is just how full the calendar is annually with assorted hoop activities.
The other hoop phenomenon in Maine is athletic specialization.
My, how the times have changed.
Gone are the days of seasonal-only athletic activities.
Kids at the high school level, with an eye on their futures and their wallets, are selecting one game – basketball would be the most popular one – and devoting 12 months of work to play just “their” game.
Maine is a step behind the nation in specialization, but we’re catching up.
With events on the calendar such as the aforementioned ones, it won’t be long before our state is ranked among the athletic elite at both the coaching and the playing levels.
NEWS columnist Ron Brown, a retired high school basketball coach, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org