EAST PROVIDENCE — The first East Providence High School youth basketball skills clinic took place Friday night, Nov. 17, inside Ramos Gymnasium. The event was directed by Townies boys' head …
EAST PROVIDENCE — The first East Providence High School youth basketball skills clinic took place Friday night, Nov. 17, inside Ramos Gymnasium. The event was directed by Townies boys' head coach Joe Andrade.
Some 40 youngsters from middle school age and below attended the roughly two-hour clinic, which Andrade had been contemplating starting since he became the boys' coach in 2016. Andrade formally begins his eighth season on the EPHS bench with the official start of the 2023-24 winter sports practice on Monday, Nov. 27.
"I've wanted to start doing something for the youth for a while, but I really started to think about doing this at the end of this summer," Andrade explained. "We need to start teaching them some basic skills, but also have fun. Plus we have a brand new gym so it's perfect."
The aspiring ballers went through five stations: ball handling, passing, agility, shooting gun and defense with some boxing out for rebounding.
Andrade wasn't alone in running the clinic. He was joined by his current assistant coach Pat Marchand, new EPHS girls' head coach Tammy Drape and the new EPHS freshmen boys' hoops coach Scott Breault. In addition, former EPHS girls' coach Mike Solitro along with Riverside Middle School girls' hoops coach Katie Kenahan-Solitro lended a hand as did Andrade's peers Henry Coleman, the Mount St. Charles boys' head coach who also serves as the Rhode Island Basketball Coaches Association president, and Mike Raffa, the Barrington High boys' head coach.
A handful of current EPHS players took part as well: Brandyn VanWagner, Levi Jacobs and Franklin Lopez from the boys' team as well as Harmonie McDowell of the girls' squad.
Even with the relatively quick turn-around from idea to implementation, Andrade was more than pleased with the number of youngsters who attended the inaugural clinic and is expecting do more of them more frequently going forward.
"Things went well," Andrade added. "The goal is do one every few months with the possibility of holding a week-long camp in the summer."