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Youth basketball clinic comes to Waimea

<p>Coach Bill O’Rear (SPECIAL TO NHN)</p>

Coach Bill O’Rear (SPECIAL TO NHN)

<p>Coach Jimmy Yagi (SPECIAL TO NHN)</p>

Coach Jimmy Yagi (SPECIAL TO NHN)

Basketball is an accessible sport for both children and adults. According to Mayo Clinic, learning basic basketball skills at a young age improves basic motor skills, improves flexibility, hand-eye coordination, and endurance. Becoming involved with basketball at an early age also helps children develop psychologically by encouraging them to make friends and become involved with peer groups. It also teaches children social skills that are useful in all areas of life.

On Dec. 9-11, Parks and Recreation Waimea, in partnership with Waimea Athletics, will host a free basketball clinic at Thelma Parker Gym for children ages 9 to 14. Former All-American Coach Bill O’Rear and former University of Hawaii, Hilo Vulcan Men’s Basketball coach, Jimmy Yagi will lead the clinics on Dec. 10.

“We are honored and excited to host these individuals in Waimea, and recognize the contributions they have made to our Big Island community in teaching and coaching basketball on the youth, high school, collegiate and professional levels,” said Melissa Samura, recreation director II at Waimea Parks and Recreation. “This is the first time either O’Rear or Yagi has made their way to Waimea, and being a former UHH Women’s Softball alumni, I just can’t help to be excited about it.”

Yagi, the former head basketball coach for the Vulcans of the University of Hawaii-Hilo, is credited for getting Hilo recognition in the world of college sports when his teams reached the NAIA finals. He was also inducted into the UH-Hilo’s Vulcan Hall of Honor following his retirement.

“Coach Yagi and myself are going to come in on Tuesday, Dec. 10,” said Bill O’Rear, former NAIA All-American player and current sports editor for the Hawaii Tribune-Herald. “Yagi’s the former University of Hawaii Hilo coach – a long time basketball clinic and camp coach and he’s known throughout the state. He’s going to talk to the kids I’m going to run a lot of the drills with the kids just to help build their skill level.”

The first day of the clinic will feature former UH-Hilo women’s basketball coach and current Honokaa High School girls’ basketball coach, Daphne Honma. Day two will feature guest speaker Jimmy Yagi, and clinician Bill O’Rear. Day three will consist of team scrimmaging.

“This is the first year that our age group boys and girls league have combined into a coed season within the Waimea, Waikoloa, Kohala and Hamakua district areas,” said Samura. “To compliment this change, we are offering both open and novice divisions, to accommodate for recreational and competitive players. It will be important for all participants to attend the clinic, so that they can experience coed basketball play that will help them and coaches gauge the appropriate division for them.”

The camp clinic will include basketball fundamentals, ball handling and dribbling moves, defensive and offensive stance and positioning, and fundamental plays and drills. The clinic is coed and will run from 3:30-4:30 p.m. for children ages 9-10, and 4:30-5:30 p.m. for children ages 11-12 and 13-14. The clinic is free; however, participants are required to join the league for a $10 registration fee, made payable to Waimea Athletics.

For more information or to register, contact the Waimea Community Center at 887-3014. Their office hours are Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., and Friday, 9:30 a.m.-11 a.m.