As a longtime player and coach, Michael Jarrett knows that the skills learned in basketball extend well beyond the court. At his upcoming fourth annual basketball clinic, Jarrett, who previously has hosted such events in Virginia Beach and even some in Richmond, said he hopes to instill local youth not only with the skills they need to be successful on the court, but in life too.
“I’ve been around basketball ever since I was 8-years-old” both as a player and coach, Jarrett said. “My goal (with the clinic) is to teach fundamental basketball skills: dribbling, passing, shooting, playing offense and defense. I also try to teach life skills like discipline, how to be a good teammate, be positive, be kind to people, keep your body and mind fit. Kids, as they play athletics, they can use those skills as they develop” and grow into adulthood.
“I think sports is a good vehicle for young kids to stay off the street, to keep busy,” Jarrett said. “God tells us to take care of our body, our mind, and our spirit and you can do that playing sports.”
Sports also provides fundamental lessons in positivity, sacrifice, communication, respect, and other such skills Jarrett said he believes young people will need as they get older.
To that end, Jarrett said that all those who participate in this year’s clinic will have several take-homes as a reminder of the lessons learned. One such take-home includes phrases like “root for your teammates to succeed,” “have fun, enjoy practice time, the game, and your teammates,” “be enthusiastic about everything that you do,” and “work hard at practice, school, friendship, body, and spirit.”
“Hopefully, they can take it with them and long after the clinic’s over,” and those lessons will remain, Jarrett said.
This year, to help local youth learn or hone their basketball and life skills, Jarrett gathered an all-star lineup of coaches to assist with the clinic.
“George Bell is the marquee coach,” Bell said. The former Harlem Globetrotter was once recognized by Guinness World Records as the tallest man in the U.S. and has been friends with Jarrett for 50 years.
The other two coaches, Bill Adkins and Samantha Lester-Mahoney, have more local ties.
In a promotional flier shared by Jarrett, Adkins is described as a former basketball player at Carver High School and Averett College who has been an assistant basketball coach at Carlisle School for 15 years.
Lester-Mahoney was a basketball player at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise “and was a star basketball player in high school,” Jarrett said. “Samantha not only is an outstanding athlete but a great person who loves being around young people … She’s just a heck of a coach and I’m so glad to add her” to the coaching team.
The clinic will be held at the Martinsville-Henry County YMCA. Jarrett’s first two clinics were conducted at the Bassett Community Center but, once it closed (Jarrett serves on a committee to reopen the facility), he moved the operation to the YMCA, which he said has been very accommodating.
Costs for the clinic are kept low—just $20 for one day and $30 for both days. “I’m not making any money on this,” Jarrett said. “I could charge $100 or more at (his clinics in) Virginia Beach, but I want this to be open to all kids,” regardless of their economic status.
He said regardless of how many children attend, each will receive personal attention.
“I don’t care if there are 50 kids, it doesn’t matter. Each kid is an individual and you need to make sure you work with each one and make sure, when they walk away (at the end of the event), that they had the best teaching possible. It’s all about the kids.”
The fourth annual Michael C. Jarrett Basketball Clinic will be held at the Martinsville-Henry County YMCA (3 Starling Avenue, Martinsville) on Monday, July 25 and Tuesday, July 26 from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m. each day. The clinic is open to boys and girls ages 6 to 16 years old. Registration will take place at the door each day beginning at 9 a.m. The cost is $20 per day or $30 for both days, payable by cash or check only. For more information, contact Jarrett at (757) 237-5644 or email@example.com.