Lehigh men’s basketball hosts youth clinics to connect with the community

Lehigh University’s 2021 youth basketball clinic was the first time for many of the young campers to ever see a 2-foot-tall person in real life, let alone a Division I basketball player dunking on a collegiate field surrounded by 6,000 seats.

At six feet tall, Nic Lynch, ’22, was the starting point of the men’s basketball team last year. He helped teach campers basic basketball skills during last year’s series.

On November 8, the men’s basketball staff hosted another round of their boys’ and girls’ basketball clinic at Stabler Arena for Lehigh Valley kids between the ages of 6 and 12.

Lehigh’s youth basketball clinic took place on November 8 at Stabler Arena. The participants practiced their dribbling skills. (Sophie Baraker/B&W Staff)

Camp administrator and assistant coach Harry Morra said kids from all 40 Lehigh Valley school districts come to attend Lehigh youth clinics. He said the goal of having them there is to better connect with the community that could become fans of Lehigh’s sports teams.

Morra said his primary goal is to connect the Lehigh Valley to the university as both an educational institution and an athletic department through the Youth Sports Clinics.

Individuals line up for drills at the Lehigh youth basketball clinic at Stabler Arena on Nov. 8. The clinic consisted of teaching participants how to dribble, shoot and pass. (Sophie Baraker/B&W Staff)

“With a camp like this, we want to give the kids access to Division I basketball coaches and even a little bit of access to Division I players,” Morra said.

He said campers work with instructors and coaches, such as himself and men’s basketball coach Brett Reed, doing drills that help them hone basic basketball skills, such as dribbling and shooting.

He said that not only are the children instructed by faculty members, but a few Mountain Hawks show up at the clinics to be part of demonstrations.

Senior co-captain Reed Fenton assisted this year along with senior co-captain Evan Taylor and freshman Tommy Conniff at the clinic target shooting.

Fenton said the three of them enjoyed watching the kids have fun together and learn how to play basketball.

Conniff said the time he and fellow Mountain Hawks spent working to bring the campers closer together also brought them closer together.

“Not just the kids, but the families get together and spend time,” Conniff said. “These events are great for everyone, including the university, because we all connect with the community around us.”

Fenton said he remembers that in the town where he grew up there was a small Division III school that sometimes hosted similar youth clinics for local children, which he attended at every opportunity.

Whenever he went to the camps and played basketball on an official court, or even watched the collegiate players play, Fenton said he felt like he was watching an NBA game.

Harry Morra, Lehigh’s assistant men’s basketball coach, instructs participants at the Lehigh Youth Basketball Clinic. Morra taught the participants of the clinic basic basketball skills on November 8 at the Stabler Arena. (Sophie Baraker/B&W Staff)

“For the kids who love basketball and are fans of ours, if we can connect with them, they invest even more in us and our season, which I think is important,” said Fenton.

Now that Lehigh is in South Bethlehem, Fenton said he felt there was no reason why the athletic department shouldn’t work better with the local community and create a fan base, which he says can be achieved through youth sports clinics. .

The team will hold additional clinics on Nov. 22, Nov. 28, Dec. 27. and 28 Dec.

Lehigh men’s basketball hosts youth clinics to connect with the community

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