Matt Borelli, Staff Writer:
Basketball is a game of fundamentals and teamwork, and who else to teach you that than the coaching staff at Southern Connecticut State University?
The Mike Donnelly basketball academy is in its first year of existence and looks to build a strong relationship with the surrounding community and aims to teach the game of basketball the right way.
“First and foremost we want to just establish our program within the community and attract families and kids to be a part of our program here at SCSU,” said Donnelly, who just finished his first season as head coach of the Owls.
The camp, for boys and girls ages 7-14, will be held at Moore Field House. There will be two weeks of the camp this summer, both with a session A which is in the morning, and a session B that is in the afternoon. The first camp will be held June 27-30, while the second camp will take place August 1-4.
“We are trying to build our fan base as well as teach fundamentals of the games, which children lack these days,” said Mike Makubika, assistant coach of the Owls. “I am pretty excited to see the turnout of the camp.”
Makubika has expressed that this camp is for all the kids around the New Haven area.
“This camp is for the kids in Hamden, Branford, Guilford, North Haven,” said Makubika, who joined Donnelly at Southern last season. “All of the surrounding areas are invited.”
Camp director Mike Donnelly fared well in his initial season as head coach of the Owls. Finishing 12-15 overall (9-13 in Northeast-10) the Owls totaled the amount of wins in the past two seasons in the first four games this year and look to take bigger steps forward in the upcoming seasons.
Donnelly has over 20 years of high-level basketball experience in coaching. “We want to give back to the community and give people a glimpse of what our objective is here and what Southern is trying to bring,” said Donnelly, who coached at Post University for the past seven seasons.
The camp will include a warm up, a fundamental instruction, skill training and then team games at the end of the day before dismissal. Shooting, dribbling, defense—all the essentials of basketball will be covered. Depending on the turnout of the camp, Donnelly and his two assistants, Makubika and Greg Clark, will be joined by some of the current players on the
“The players have been anxious and asking a lot of questions about the camp,” said Donnelly. “They all seem pretty excited.”
Leading scorer Trevon Hamlet expressed an interest when hearing about the camp to be held on
campus. “I think that it is real cool we are going to be hosting a camp,” said Hamlet, a Brooklyn, NY native. “It will be fun.”
The basketball camp costs $125 for either one of the sessions held on a given day. Session A lasts from 9:00 a.m. to noon, while session B goes from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. If the child decides to go to each session every day then the fee increases to $200. The teams and the leagues in the camp are determined by grade level and the size of the camp itself. A brochure and application for the camp are located on the website www.southernctbasketball.com.
“We look forward to doing this for the first time,” said Donnelly. “This is the first step towards working with our community.”