Vols bring hoops, life lessons to youth

Vols bring hoops, life lessons to youth

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Vols bring hoops, life lessons to youth

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KNOXVILLE

The University of Tennessee men’s basketball program is administering four clinics during June as part of its “Statewide Hoops Outreach Tour.”

These Tennessee S.H.O.T. clinics feature head coach Cuonzo Martin, his staff and current and former players as instructors.

The final stop on this year’s tour takes place at 6 p.m. at Blackman High on Thursday.

The cost to attend the clinic is $20, which allows UT to cover its expenses and provide each participant with a t-shirt and basketball.

Participation is limited to the first 75 children who register.

Parents can register their child or obtain additional information by visiting http://www.TennesseeSportCamps.com or calling 865-974-0703.

The program has also held stops in Cleveland, Kingsport and one is scheduled in Jackson on Wednesday.

“I think for our program it’s always important to reach out to the young guys that want to be a part of the Tennessee basketball family in the future,” Martin said. “It’s a great way to bring the action to those guys.”

The S.H.O.T. clinics emphasize the fundamentals of basketball but also mix in different games for the attendees to enjoy said Mark Pancratz, UT’s coordinator of video scouting, who spearheads administration of the events.

“We do all fundamental stuff,” Pancratz said. “We want to try to have a good mix of instructional-based skill development drills but also fun games where the kids interact with our coaches and players.”

Held throughout the state, one of the main goals of the S.H.O.T. clinics is to expose as many children as possible to the University of Tennessee’s “Power T” brand.

Martin understands it can sometimes be difficult for families to travel to Knoxville for a game or summer camp, so they decided to take the Tennessee basketball experience on the road.

“We just want to be as accessible as possible, because our fans are important to us,” Pancratz said. “Our fans are the lifeblood of what we do, and without them we couldn’t be successful.

“The ‘Power T’ brand is so powerful. It stretches throughout the entire state. This is a Tennessee basketball or Tennessee athletics state, so we find it’s important to get out to all parts of the state.”

The S.H.O.T. clinics are specifically designed for kindergarteners through sixth graders, and Martin and his clinic staff preach more than just basketball.

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