It's one of the hottest days of the year, but dozens of County youngsters were thinking of basketball. The Maine Red Claws spent the day in Houlton for a stop on the Dunkin Summer Clinic Series. Forward Vitto Brown talked to youngsters about his experience with the sport from the early ages to his four years at the University of Wisconsin to his time in the NBA G League.
Vitto Brown):" It is a long process and like you said I am able to share the knowledge and the tidbits that helped me push through and continue to improve my game."
The clinic brought youngsters from all over the County from North to South. The Van Buren, Easton Ashland Recreation departments brought several players to the clinic. Evans Boston is the Senior Director of Public and Community relations for the Red Claws and says that having these community outreach clinics is what the team is about.
(Evans Boston):" We are not the Portland Red Claws we are the Maine Red Claws so we really want to give back to the entire Maine Community and that includes coming up to the County. It is difficult for us to do that during our season, but in the summer time in our off season it is a great opportunity for us to come up to a place like Houlton where we know we going to get a ton of kids who are excited about basketball."
Boston says the response of the County youth is one of the reasons the team looks to make a stop in the County on most years. The players were broken up into three age divisions and working on several different skill sets. The young players were excited to try to pick up some new pointers
(Victoria Ervin):" I try to work hard by listening and try my best to do what they are telling me to do."
(Blake Vincent):" I just want to learn how to do my moves more efficiently because I am a point guard and it will help me in the long run.
Brown:" When I show them these drills I am going to show them how to do it full speed and how often they should doing these certain things. The mental part of the game is really bigger than the physical part and I believe if you get your body in tuned and your physically ready you are ready to go."
Brown played four years at the University of Wisconsin and made two final four appearances. He was the school's Outstanding Sportsmanship Award winner, was a two time Academic All Big Ten Honoree and was a finalist for the Allstate Good Works team in honor of his volunteerism and civic involvement. Brown is still involved in the community and his message to the youngsters is very simple.
Brown:" The most important one for me is hard work. Sounds cliche and everyone talks about it, but not many people live it. That is one thing I pride myself on is no matter what situation you are in no matter what team you are on the one thing that is not negotiable is how hard you work."