Sports

Navy vet teaches b-ball fundamentals

Coach Marion Green commended Bryce Vitcovichs improvement in basketball skills over his last year of training. -
Coach Marion Green commended Bryce Vitcovichs improvement in basketball skills over his last year of training.
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MARYSVILLE While several of their teammates are away at area 3-on-3 tournaments, Deion Stell, Bryce Vitcovich and Logan Sewell work on their post shot.
With just three players present at this basketball camp, it would be easy for these basketball players to take practice less seriously. But when coach Marion Green says near the end of a drill, One more, he doesnt mean one more attempt.
Green hosts the basketball camp Fridays and Saturdays at the Naval Complex to teach basketball fundamentals to fourth- through eighth-grade boys. Green, who played and coached basketball during his naval career, offers the camp to fill a perceived void in opportunities to learn the basics, he said.
Green got his coaching start while he was stationed in Iceland on shore duty. He and some of his fellow sailors started organizing weekend basketball games for kids and began adding camps and clinics to help them work on their technique.
In 1997, the Navy moved Green to Everett where he was stationed on a destroyer before he retired in 1999. It was here he got more heavily involved in coaching through the parks and recreation leagues filling a niche by teaching middle schoolers basketball skills.
After coaching the park and rec for four or five years, I noticed that kids werent really getting the fundamentals they needed if they wanted to pursue basketball down the road, Green explained. So what I did was I went to the hoop camp at the high school two years ago and I helped with the little kids through varsity. What I did was I asked all the kids who were in this age group, Would you want to play ball on a select team? and a lot of them said, Yeah.
After organizing and coaching at the seventh- and eighth-grade level, Green said he realized either they know it or they dont.
He explained that then he decided to start teaching at a younger level.
And the camp was born, with Greens three players in the fifth and sixth grades.
The camp is designed to polish basic skills. Take a mental snapshot of a basketball player shooting from under the basket. Green takes that play and drills players on it over and over, working on their footing, their shooting technique and rebounding the shot.
He describes it in egalitarian terms, providing these skills to kids who might not get them somewhere else.
Green said he figures his naval background is part of his instruction.
I respect people for how they treat me and what their outtake is on the game. I think one thing Ive learned throughout the years is you never judge a book by its cover. You take everything at face value until learning otherwise, he said.
Im structured. Im not an old grandpa set in my ways, but I expect results.
Registration is open for the remaining camps on Fridays and Saturdays throughout August.

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