Saturday, March 24 was an exciting day at the Pleasanton High School gym, as approximately 20 local youth took part in the Boys and Girls Basketball Clinic.
The doors opened at 8:30 a.m. and the morning began with prayer by Bob Byrd of The Navigators. Led by Coastal Bend College Cougar basketball players and coaches, the students warmed up with jumping jacks and different stretching exercises. F
rom 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. children of all levels learned valuable skills from the CBC players and coaches.
“Coastal Bend College Basketball programs had an amazing time at the camp. Thanks for letting us help out and be a part of something so special!” said Nathan Purswell, Women’s Basketball Coach and Math Instructor at CBC’s main campus in Beeville.
The San Antonio Spurs Coyote met with fans of all ages at the basketball clinic later that afternoon, as the crowd cheered.
“Numerous activities at the same time kept the attendance low, but the excitement generated by the Spurs Coyote was off the chart,” Byrd said.
Byrd also credits the leadership provided by the Coastal Bend College coaching staff and team members as a key element in the success of their clinic.
“We are very appreciative of the Cougar team and coaches to come up here and lead this clinic. And kids, this is for you,” Byrd said at the start of the clinic. “I don’t know if you saw the sponsor sign at the door, but those are the folks to thank.”
He told the students they were loved and appreciated and they wanted to do something for them. “You are the next generation and we want to invest in you,” said Byrd.
He then prayed and thanked God for everyone taking part in the clinic.
“When the kids arrived, put on their T-shirts, they were met with an enthusiastic group of CBC players and coaches who had embraced fully our vision for the kids. It was to develop skills, have fun and allow Javier Galvan’s message that Jesus has a plan for their lives to be considered by each person in attendance,” Byrd said.
He added that the feedback from the kids and parents has been very positive.
“CBC President Beatriz Espinoza was very appreciative of our work toward the city and college working closer together,” said Byrd. “We are very pleased that Coastal Bend College is engaged in the community,” Espinoza said. “We are a community college and it’s all about giving back. We have student athletes who love participating and bringing the next generation of kids up. I am so proud of them, that they came with the coaches. The community came out to celebrate an opportunity to build up students and build success in their lives through sport.”
Participant Ashlie Orta of Nimitz Middle School said of the clinic, “I enjoyed meeting new people and learning other skills from different people.”
Those with Coastal Bend College included: Head Coach Men’s Basketball- Carliss Robinson, Assistant Coach Men’s Basketball- DJ Evans, Head Coach Women’s Basketball-Nathan Purswell and Assistant Coach Women’s Basketball- Mia Ochoa.
Coastal Bend College players were: Women’s Basketball- Samantha Atkinson-Roach, Emiko Hemphill, McKenna Christler and Tierra McDaniel and Men’s Basketball- Eric Porter, Kionis Owens, Malik Amos, Kenny Brown and Daveion Paul.
Proud sponsors were: Coastal Bend College, H-E-B, Walmart, City of Pleasanton, Kinsel Ford Pleasanton, Prosperity Bank, Pleasanton ISD, Hurley Funeral Home Inc., Retama Nursing Center Pleasanton South, Smoot Electric, Water Well Service Inc., M. Tullos, LLC, Judge Bob Hurley, Johnny Huizar, James Magel, John Brymer, Mr. and Mrs. Otto, The Navigators and Structured Elements. Byrd also wished to thank sponsorship through reporting by the Pleasanton Express.
Helpers were Carlos and Sandra Teran and family members, Earl and Joye Peterson, Dallas Owen and Colonel Robert Blake ROTC Director. Byrd said it was Carlos Teran who was the key player in this clinic and procuring of Spur basketballs.
More clinics are scheduled for June, September and December.