Youth basketball has become so focused on games and tournaments that David Zimroth worries players aren't getting what they need most:
Zimroth, whose coaching resume includes stints at Georgia (1981-82), Florida State (1986-96) and South Florida (1996-2003), said players used to get more practice on the basics: proper footwork, ball handling, passing and shooting.
"What has taken over the game of basketball in America is the exorbitant amount of games and events that kids participate in," Zimroth said. The competition is great, he said, but fundamentals have taken a back seat.
On Court Player Development Basketball Academy was created to train players in those core skills. The program started in Tampa earlier this year, and now plans to offer training sessions in Pasco County for boys and girls from kindergarten age on up.
The academy will have a free skills clinic for kids and an open house for their parents from 7 to 9 p.m. Aug. 25 at the Academy at the Lakes gymnasium, 2331 Collier Parkway, Land O'Lakes. Future sessions will be at that same facility.
"What we're trying to reinstitute is the consistent fundamental skill development that was very prominent when I was growing up," said program adviser Zimroth.
For information about the event or to RSVP, call David Zimroth at (813) 215-0148 or e-mail email@example.com.
TRIATHLON: The New Port Richey Recreation and Aquatic Center and downtown New Port Richey will host the Coteeman Triathlon at 7 a.m. Aug. 28. Contestants will swim six laps in the pool before hopping on a bike for two 4.5-mile loops around the complex. The running portion of the event is 3.1 miles long and will go from the recreation center, downtown to Orange Lake and then loop back to an area near the Morton Plant North Bay Medical Center. For information, call race director Rob Marlowe at (727) 847-2424 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find out more about the race by calling (727) 842-8066.
BASEBALL: Shady Hills Little League is holding registrations for its Fall Ball season 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Aug. 24 and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 21 and 28. Signups will take place at 15488 Green Glen Road on field No. 3. Cost is $25 for baseball or softball; tee-ball players register for free. For information, contact league president Troy Fergueson at (727) 243-7711 or e-mail him at email@example.com.
I9: I9 sports is holding registrations for the fall seasons of basketball, soccer and flag football. All leagues are open to boys and girls 3-15. There are no tryouts and everyone is guaranteed playing time. Fields are located throughout Pasco County. Interested players can register at www.i9sports.com or call league director Jimmy Barbarise at (813) 532-1507.
KARATE: Veterans Memorial Park in Hudson offers karate classes for kids 6 and older Tuesdays and Thursdays. The class is broken into segments with kids 6-12 having class 7 to 7:45 p.m. and kids 13 and up having class 8 to 9 p.m. Cost is $35 per month for the first person and $25 for each additional family member. For information, call (727) 861-3033.
TENNIS: The Land O'Lakes Recreation Complex will offer tennis clinics taught by USPTA pro Karen Turman starting Sept. 13. Clinics are for players age 5 and up. Mondays will consist of players age 5-7 having a session from 4:30-5:30 p.m. and kids 8-12 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. On Tuesdays, the 8-12 age group will go from 4:30-5:30 p.m. and 13- to 17-year-olds will have a session 5:30-6:30 p.m. High school players will have a separate clinic 4:30-5:30 p.m. Thursdays. Cost is $34 per four week session. For information, call (813) 468-1047.
UPWARD SOCCER: Myrtle Lake Baptist Church is accepting registrations for Upward Soccer, a league for boys and girls from kindergarten through sixth grade. Children participate in practices and games without league standings. Sportsmanship, kindness and character are valued as winning qualities. All players get equal playing time and equal opportunity for improvement. Player evaluations will be at 10 a.m. Aug. 28. The eight-game season runs Sept. 18 to Nov. 8. Registration forms can be found at www.myrtlelake.org. For information, call league director Curt Hinson at (813) 376-4182 or league commissioner Allan Gazaway at (813) 995-2577.
David Rice can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.