Quinn Cook Skills Clinic at Guilderland YMCA is bigger than basketball.
“Everybody here takes the game of basketball serious, but we’re trying to expose kids and say, hey, listen, everybody’s not going to go to the NBA and here’s an actual NBA player who’s telling you about all the different opportunities to stay around the game of basketball,” said John Scott, the Director of Basketball Operations at Capital District YMCA.
To Scott, the program that Gifted Athletes and 4Family offers is much bigger than basketball. This is their second year partnering with the YMCA and for three days, they work with kids ages 8-18 on basketball skills, as well as learning about analytics and broadcasting. One of the most important things though, is what they learn off the court.
“You know character, you know discipline. You know how to go about things the right way, how to do things the right way. You know right from wrong. You know, basketball teaches more than just on the court, it teaches off the court, too,” said Trahson Burrell, a pro basketball player and mentor with 4Family.
To make it even better, every year Gifted Athletes brings in a top-tier baller. This time, it was NBA champion, Quinn Cook, of the Golden State Warriors. Cook has been working with Gifted Athletes for three years and ever since he left Duke University, he’s only wanted to get more involved with shaping the way kids view the game.
“Just trying to give back as much as I can, dedicate my time and presence and everything to the kids and for a greater cause,” said Warriors guard Quinn Cook.
Cook’s impact alone brought in not only kids from the Capital Region, but from hours away.
“I think it’s just good to have a motivational person to just teach you the ways of basketball and playing for the NBA,” said Jaydon Garner, an eleven year old from Maryland.
Cook gave the kids drills to work on, but ultimately taught them life-lessons that will last a lifetime. The three-day clinic finishes up on Friday.