HALF HOLLOW HILLS, New York, June 4
BY: Andrew Wroblewski
Colts basketball begins in the bleachers.
As the 2014-2015 Half Hollow Hills West boys varsity basketball team reached yet another Suffolk County championship game this past March, hundreds looked on from the bleachers in anticipation, excitement and – perhaps most importantly for the growth of the program – awe. Part of that crowd, the youth of the Half Hollow Hills community, watched the Colts intently – some with the desire to one day play in a game of that magnitude themselves.
Players like Hills West’s point guard Devin Williams did just that as he came up through the program idolizing his brother before him. Many of the Colts began their careers with the annual Hills West Basketball Clinics.
The 14th annual edition of that clinic is set to tip off in July.
“It’s important for a coach to develop a relationship with their players,” Bill Mitaritonna, head coach of the Colts varsity squad and director of the clinic, said. “As a coach you need to trust your players and they need to trust you.”
Building that trust begins under the leadership of the clinic’s coaches – which include current and former Hills basketball players – as they work alongside boys entering grades 2-10 for two weeks of camp focusing on the fundamentals of basketball.
Each day of camp at High School West emphasizes furthering a different skill – dribbling, passing, shooting, defense and team play – while managing to keep the “fun” in “fundamentals,” Mitaritonna said.
The first session runs from July 13-17 and the second from July 20-24 – both take place from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on those days. There is a price of $175 per player for one week and a discounted price of $325 for those that wish to attend both weeks.
“The clinic is really a lot of fun. We’ve had kids coming back for 6-7 years in a row now,” Mitaritonna said. “They’re a great way for younger kids to be introduced to the game of basketball and for older kids to improve and implement the skills that our guys use at the varsity level.”
Any and all residents of the Half Hollow Hills community are welcome, Mitaritonna said, and information on signing up can be found by visiting http://bit.ly/1clx3bC.
A tried–and–true alumni of the Hills West basketball program may also make an appearance, Mitaritonna said. As he’s done in the past, if Tobias Harris – former Colt and current NBA player for the Orlando Magic – is in town, he’ll almost certainly stop in to help mold the future of Hills West program.
Originally published: Long Islander News: Half Hollow Hills
(Thursday, June 4, 2015; A23)