Virtual Clinics reach kids around the globe
By Gary Seljaas
As COVID-19 changed the world we live in, it was evident that basketball around the state of Utah, the country, and the world would change as well. After a successful first year of traveling throughout the Utah Jazz market to conduct in-person camps and clinics, Utah Jazz Camps and Clinics launched virtual offerings to reach young Jazz fans around the globe.
Thirteen-year-old Samuel Jacobs, from Center Moriches, NY was looking for a way to keep working on his game, while staying home and staying safe from the pandemic. “I looked on Twitter and saw the Jazz virtual clinics and asked my mom to sign me up! I’m a big NBA fan and love Donovan Mitchell and the Jazz,” said Jacobs. Since launching virtual clinics and trainings, kids from 13 different states and four different countries have participated. “It has been fun and unique to see where our participants live. In one clinic, we have kids involved from all over the globe,” said Gary Seljaas, camps and clinics manager for the Utah Jazz.
Virtual trainings give participants the chance to work either one-on-one or in small group settings with a camps and clinics coach. Virtual clinics cater to a larger number of kids and use zoom breakout rooms so participants can work in smaller groups with experienced coaches. Clinics focus on many drills that professional players use including dynamic warmup, footwork, ball handling, attack & finish moves, and shooting drills.
Samuel’s mom, Shoshannah, was excited when she saw the virtual clinics in action, “I didn’t know what to expect until I saw it. When I saw the coach was live, that he was actually there, that was great!” After months of looking for ways for Samuel to keep working on his game, the virtual clinic was much needed. “He’s so in love with basketball and wants to improve his game. With the times we are in, what better opportunity then to have someone from the Jazz teach him,” she said.
To date, several hundred youth ages 7-17 have participated in virtual offerings through Utah Jazz Camps and Clinics. With the ability to cater to participants and their individual needs, kids are able to stay safe while continuing to improve their game. “The best part of the virtual clinic is that it helped my shooting. My coach helped me fix my form and be more consistent,” Samuel added.
Participants join their virtual clinic or training from wherever they can – garages, kitchens, driveways, churches, recreation centers, basements, and even their front sidewalk. Wherever kids can find an internet connection to run their device, they can participate.
From Japan to Australia, participants might meet kids from around the world – all with the same goal to stay connected and improve their game. “The best part was seeing how happy he was. He was in all his glory! He was so focused on it and that was an amazing thing,” Shoshannah Jacobs added.
To register for a virtual clinic visit www.utahjazzcamps.com. Participants will receive a pair of adidas D.O.N. Issue #2 shoes in the Utah Jazz Camps and Clinics colorway, plus adidas basketball.