Talented hoops training in Suffolk

Published 7:44 pm Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Former NBA player and University of the District of Columbia star Michael “P-Bird” Britt is bringing former pro and college basketball stars to Suffolk, where he grew up, to help him run a youth basketball skills and drills clinic this week.

“We just want to keep the kids busy and to keep them off the streets and out of trouble,” Britt said. “That’s what it’s all about.”

The clinic, intended for boys and girls ages 7 to 17, runs from March 31 through April 2 at the Salvation Army Robert W. Harrell Jr. Physical Health and Education Center on 400 Bank St.

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The cost to participate is $60 per child, and registration is still open.

Each day, the clinic will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. It will include hands-on training by former players, with focuses on ball handling, shooting and rebounding.

There will also be educational courses on gangs, drugs and violence, along with testimonies from ex-athletes who experienced rises and falls in their lives.

Former players who will be helping run the clinic, several of whom reached the pro ranks, include David Wingate, Gregory Hines, Teko Wynder, Joel Copeland, Diego McCoy, Timothy Stanfill and Mike Daniels. There will also be other special guest appearances.

Wingate played for Georgetown University and spent 15 and a half years in the NBA, playing for teams including the Philadelphia 76ers, the San Antonio Spurs, the Charlotte Hornets, the Seattle SuperSonics, the Washington Bullets and the New York Knicks.

“It’s a beautiful event, and I’m just delighted to be here,” Wingate said, adding that he was pleased to give back something to the community and to the youth.

Hines played in college for Hampton Institute, now known as Hampton University, he was drafted in 1983 by the Golden State Warriors, and he ended up playing professionally overseas for 12 years.

Wynder starred at the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma before being drafted in 1977 by the Philadelphia 76ers. After a year with the 76ers, he played professionally for two years in Stockholm, Sweden.

Copeland earned All-American status during his time at Old Dominion University, was drafted in 1974 by the New Orleans Jazz and later played for two years in a European league.

McCoy had success at West Virginia University and played abroad professionally for seven years. He has coached at the college level and currently is a coach for One On One Basketball Training, an organization out of Washington, D.C., that teaches fundamentals to players, while instilling a strong work ethic.

Stanfill starred at the University of the District of Columbia and is now involved in the National Dunking Association of America. Known for being able to jump so high he could kick the backboard while dunking, he teaches young people how to dunk.

Through DunkFit Kids, a day training camp for youth, he teaches youth about slam dunk history, gives them jump and dunk training, teaches nutrition planning and also imparts life skills to help with character development.

Daniels played with Britt at the University of the District of Columbia and contributed to the team winning the national championship.

The registration fee of $60 for the clinic will cover a T-shirt and the cost of food for each day. Sponsorships are still available. To register, contact Michael Britt at 758-4501 or MPBirdBritt@gmail.com.