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Arnold basketball hosts youth clinic

Updated: Jun. 16, 2021 at 8:34 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -At the MAC, on the Arnold High School campus, some basketball instruction is being doled out this week.

Arnold head coach, Josh Laatsch, and some of his players, past and present, are conducting a youth clinic this week for kids between the ages of 8 and 14.

Some 52 kids signed up for the week long clinic, which runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day, with a shorter day Friday.

The youngsters get a feel for a high school gym floor, and its surroundings, while learning basic basketball, at least for the younger kids, and perhaps a bit more skill set guidance for some of the older kids.

For Coach Laatsch, it gives him a way of stretching the coaching muscles.

“There’s a wide variety of competition out here, which is awesome because it’s a good experience for me to try to help correlate to how I’m going to flex my coaching ability to hit an 8 year old who’s never played,” said Coach Laatsch. “And a 14 year old who needs a little bit more skill. They’re a little bit more advanced in the game, so it’s been good for me and my coaches and my players, varsity players who are up and out, to kind of get a feel of how to teach the game on all kinds of different levels.”

The aim for the clinic is pretty simple, starting with exposing kids to the game and to the players they may look up to.

“That’s something that me growing up in a bigger town had a chance to do,” said Coach Laatsch. “With varsity kids, you go on a Friday night to watch play. Them giving back in the summers, giving their time to teach you how to play. Whether it’s shooting a layup, whether it’s shooting, learning how to shoot, learning how to dribble or pass. The different things that we’re teaching this week, it’s more so about basketball, what goes on within 84 feet, and more about building these relationships.”

The clinic will wrap up at 12:30 p.m. on Friday.

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