Luke Harangody, of the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, instructs a youth player during a drill at the second-annual Mad Ants Clinic at the YMCA of Van Wert County Wednesday evening. The camp was put on as part of a partnership between the Y and the Mad Ants, and allowed youth players to learn from professionals. (Times Bulletin/Brian Bassett)
BY BRIAN BASSETT
Times Bulletin Sports Editor
VAN WERT - For the second year in a row, youth basketball players from around the area got a chance to learn from professionals, as the YMCA of Van Wert County host its second-annual Mad Ants Clinic.
The clinic, for children ranging from four-years-old to sixth grade, featured players and coaches from the Fort Wayne Mad Ants - an NBA Developmental League affiliate of the Charlotte Bobcats, the Detroit Pistons, the Inidana Pacers and the Milwaukee Bucks.
"We started this three years ago," explained YMCA program director Mitch Price. "Three years ago, we just did a ticket (giveaway). Last year we did a clinic with (former NBA player Christian) Laettner and the Mad Ants. This year we've got three great guys including Luke Harangody."
Harangody was the headliner of the clinic. He earned Big East Player of the Year honors in 2008 while at Notre Dame, and is the only player in Big East history to average 20 points and 10 rebounds in conference play for his career.
Harangody has spent time with the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers, and currently averages 19.7 points and 13.3 rebounds per game for the Mad Ants.
Also lending their time to the camp were Mad Ants players Anthony Harris (University of Miami) and Tommy Smith (Arizona State University).
The youth not only learned fundamental from professionals, the partnership between the Y and the Mad Ants includes the chance to go to a Mad Ants' game.
"It's a great partnership to get those kids here. For eight dollars you get a clinic with a professional basketball player and coaches - it's pretty remarkable," added Price.
Price said that 70 kids were in attendance, and attendees participate in basketball programs from all around the area - not just at the Y.
"It promotes the Y, it promotes (the Mad Ants). At the end of the day the goal is to get these kids better (at basketball)," concluded Price.