Sports Stories

More than 20 boys and girls from the Verde Valley, ranging from elementary to high school age, participated in the Mike Bibby Shooting Clinic Series on Friday, April 14, at Sedona Red Rock High School.

Except Bibby, an ex-NBA player, was not there due to a lack of participants. Marlon Minifee, an ex-pro in his own regard, and three other coaches worked with the players on more than just shooting.

“I think it went awesome, it was a great camp,” Minifee said. “The kids came and did a great job and we look forward to doing it again.”

While what went on during the clinic is not the most fun for the athletes, Minifee and company emphasized the importance of what they did.

They worked on ball handling skills, footwork and other fundamentals key to raising any player’s game, regardless of their age or stage of development.

“The main thing that’s important at different groups is they need to work on the same thing, it’s just the pace in which they learn,” Minifee said. “We worked on a lot of the same drills, but the speed and the intensity of which they go through the drills is the main difference.”

After stretching to warm up, the group was put through their paces with change of direction drills.

Next were static and dynamic dribbling drills, working with one and two balls at once, moving forward and backward.
Then the agility ladders and cones came out. All of the drills were designed to work on the same skills: Speed, explosion and power.

“They actually have to sit there and think about what they’re doing before they do it,” said Chris Johnson of West Coast Advantage. “Its not just going out there and doing it, they actually know they got better because it was so tiring.”

Easily the most entertaining drill was when, with a partner holding a resistance band around their waist, they had to dribble the full length of the court with the weight of their partner holding them back.

“These are the same drills they do at the NBA level, the WNBA level and the Division I college level,” Minifee said. “The same things that they work on at this age, they need to work on there.”

The youngest players learned about down screens and the fundamentals of shooting.

Asked what the most difficult part of the clinic was, 12-year-old Colton Stevenson said, “the two-ball dribbling, because I have to focus on two different things.”

Apart from the work inside of Doc Adams Gymnasium, the trainers stressed fact that the athletes have got to continue to practice on their own.

“You have to go home and put all the reps in, because that’s really how you’ll get better,” Johnson said. “That’s what I want to stick in their brain. This right here could move over into school work, too.”


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