The Tennessee S.H.O.T. clinics for grades K-6 feature head coach Cuonzo Martin, his staff and current and former players as instructors.
The first stop on this year’s tour takes place at Cleveland High School on June 11, from 6 to 8 p.m. Additional stops this year include Kingsport (June 14), Jackson (June 26) and Murfreesboro (June 27).
The cost to attend the clinic is $20, which allows UT to cover its expenses and provide each participant with a T-shirt and basketball. Participation is limited to the first 75 children who register.
Parents can register their child or obtain additional information by visiting www.TennesseeSportCamps.com or calling 865-974-0703.
“I think for our program it’s always important to reach out to the young guys who want to be a part of the Tennessee basketball family in the future,” said Martin. “It’s a great way to bring the action to those guys.”
The S.H.O.T. clinics emphasize the fundamentals of basketball but also mix in different games for the attendees to enjoy, says Mark Pancratz, who is spearheading administration of the events and is UT’s coordinator of video scouting.
“We do all fundamental stuff,” Pancratz said. “We want to try to have a good mix of instructional-based skill development drills, but also fun games where the kids interact with our coaches and players.”
Held throughout the state, one of the main goals of the S.H.O.T. clinics is to expose as many children as possible to the University of Tennessee’s “Power T” brand.
Martin understands it can sometimes be difficult for families to travel to Knoxville for a game or summer camp, so they decided to take the Tennessee basketball experience on the road.
“We just want to be as accessible as possible, because our fans are important to us,” Pancratz said. “Our fans are the lifeblood of what we do, and without them we couldn’t be successful.
“The ‘Power T’ brand is so powerful. It stretches throughout the entire state. This is a Tennessee basketball or Tennessee athletics state, so we find it’s important to get out to all parts of the state.”
The S.H.O.T. clinics are specifically designed for grades K-6, and Martin and his clinic staff preach more than just basketball. His message on integrity is the same to the clinic participants as it is to his team.
“I want to stress the importance of being a person of substance and character more than anything,” Martin said when asked what he attempts to convey at the clinics. “These are the same things that their parents are teaching them right now, so we try to follow through with the same message outside of basketball.”