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Taylorsville Journal

Salt Lake City Stars Run Camp for Community Kids

Oct 06, 2016 04:24PM ● By Bryan Scott

Taylorsville Jr. Jazz players pose for a photo at a basketball camp facilitated by the Salt Lake City Stars (Billy Swartzfager)

By Billy Swartzfager | [email protected]

On Sept. 17, the Salt Lake City Stars, an NBA D-League team owned by the Utah Jazz, hosted a basketball camp for Taylorsville Junior Jazz players. This was the Stars first community outreach event; it was held at the Taylorsville Recreation Center’s outdoor basketball courts. 

There were kids in attendance from 7 years old all the way to 14, and each age group was challenged to sharpen skills appropriate for their age and ability. There were stations dedicated to dribbling, shooting, passing and defense, as well as a station for a fun game of knock out. The rotations were monitored and timed by Stars’ Public and Community Relations Manager Gina Calvert.  

“We’ve got them working on a lot of great Jr. Jazz principles as well as a station that is just fun,” Calvert said of the drills and games. 

The youth who participated had a great time learning from professional basketball coaches, switching from one drill to the next with their peers. Parents were also thrilled with what their children were getting from the camp. According to Andy Mcintyre, a parent of two young Jr. Jazz players, Ian, 9, and Cini, 7, the camp provided his children with an opportunity to learn basketball skills from people who know what they are doing.

“It is a huge advantage for them to be able to participate, learning the right ways to do things,” Mcintyre said.

“This is awesome,” Ian Mcintyre said to a friend while playing knock-out.

The Stars were successful in their first attempt to get in touch and be a part of their new community. The Stars were in Boise, Idaho, and were called the Stampede just last year. They begin their first season in Salt Lake this coming November. The team’s home court will be Salt Lake Community College’s Lifetime Activities Center-Bruins Arena in Taylorsville. Taylorsville loves the having the Stars as a new addition to their community.

“We are honored and privileged to have the Stars here in Taylorville,” said Mayor Larry Johnson. “It’s wonderful to be able to take the whole family to an affordable professional basketball game.”

The clinic on Sept. 17 was just the first chance for the Stars to come out and support the Taylorsville community. Team officials plan on many more events in the future to give back to those who will be supporting the team by purchasing tickets. In addition to getting to know the people in and around Taylorsville, the Stars hope to familiarize people with what the D-League is all about.

“That has been really easy to do with such strong, welcoming support from the city,” said Calvert.

Stars’ Assistant Coach Jordan Brady added that the team is very excited to be playing in Taylorsville and the chance to give back and provide the city with unique opportunities is a great part of his job.

“To be able to provide a positive experience for these kids is really what this is all about,” Brady said.

The Stars will begin basketball practices the first week of November and will begin official games shortly thereafter. Their season wraps up in April after a 50-game schedule, 25 of those games being played in Taylorsville. The team has an active roster of 10 players and can have an additional two on the roster who are technically inactive. The players come from all over the place, too. Some are young draftees and some are on assignment from the NBA. And some are able to join the team through open tryouts. Many of the players on the Stars won’t make it to the NBA, but the D-League is also a place where young players can gather skills if they plan to play overseas.

The Stars and Taylorsville officials both hope the partnership is fruitful for the community, the team and the players. City leaders are hoping the team will be able to get into schools and participate in other community events in the future. The Stars are hoping for the same thing.

“We will be working on a lot of community relations programs, academic programs, and we hope to make our presence known,” Calvert said.

“We hope they stay a long time,” Johnson said.  

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