Over 200 Local Kids Attend Youth Basketball Clinic
Mean Green Players Have a Blast With Young Ballers
DENTON -- The Mean Green men's and women's basketball teams hosted their annual Youth Basketball Clinic December 20 at the Physical Education Building (PEB) on the North Texas campus. Head coaches Tony Benford and Mike Petersen brought their full squads along for top-flight instruction from current student-athletes and a morning filled with fun.
"It's just a great day. It's a great time for our players to interact with young, elementary and middle-school players," Petersen said. "It's a chance for our players to give a little something back and it's great for kids that are this age that are kind of just starting out in basketball to be able to see our kids, who have been through what they're going through, and are now reaping some of the benefits."
"It's a privilege to be a student-athlete here at North Texas and it's a privilege for me to coach here," Benford continued. "Part of that responsibility to the community and to the school is to be role models for the young people in the community. That's why this is great, to have a chance to interact with the kids and their families, especially during the holidays. This is bigger than us, it's more than basketball; this is life."
Over 200 boys and girls, looking to hoop it up on a Saturday morning with some of their favorite North Texas basketball players, attended the event with their family and youth coaches. The Mean Green split into groups and ran stations at the numerous hoops at the PEB. The attendees participated in all sorts of drills; shooting, passing and defensive sliding, just to name a few.
Everybody who attended received a Mean Green t-shirt, a North Texas backpack, autographs from the players and a ticket voucher to the December 21 doubleheader, when the men's team faces off against Creighton and the women's team follows with a game against UT Arlington, beginning at 1 p.m. But it was not all about the tangible gifts for these kids, who spent a special day with 25 big brothers and sisters on the basketball court.
"I remember when I was younger - 100 years ago - someone came over and had free clinics in Hobbs, New Mexico," Benford reflected. "We always remember those times, and I know these kids will remember these lasting images with the players, and that will go a long way."
"It's good for the kids this age to see that there's something to work toward and I also think it's great for our players to give something back," Petersen explained. "Our sport has been really good to the kids in our program, and it's great to give something back to the sport of basketball."