menu close twitter facebook snapchat instagram youtube article basketball gallery graph left-arrow right-arrow search star trophy video net clipboard shield-check shield-star stopwatch filter reset Share
Women's National Team youth clinic

USA Basketball National Team Members Teach Skills to Annapolis Youth

  • Author:
    Jason Butt
  • Date:
    Sep 10, 2014

Annapolis, Maryland

Photo Gallery

Seeing the smiles and excitement on the children’s faces once again brought memories back to Sue Bird

Bird, a two-time WNBA champion three-time Olympic gold medalist and two-time FIBA World Championship winner, was once a young basketball player participating in basketball clinics where players she looked up to offered their time to pass on their knowledge of the game. Early Tuesday evening, Bird was once again in the position to return the favor in giving back on the other end.

At a Hoops For Troops basketball clinic for children of military families on campus at the U.S. Naval Academy, Bird, a former first-overall selection by the Seattle Storm, reflected on being able to help out during the hour-long skills workshop for young children.

“It’s funny because when you’re growing up, as someone that’s interested in basketball, you do go to a lot of things like this — clinics, camps,” Bird said, following some post-clinic shooting with a couple of young participants. “I definitely remember stations. That was a big part of camp. This is similar to that. But for a long time now I’ve been on the other side. It’s always fun to interact with the kids and show them stuff, have some fun.”

For an hour, Bird, along with some of her USA teammates, worked with the U.S. Naval Academy’s women’s basketball team to instruct children in various drills. They broke off into stations to work on layups, dribbling, defense, elbow jumpers and agility work. Other USA National Team players participated in an off-campus clinic at a local Boys & Girls Club in Annapolis.

Parents were able to watch their children work on their games at the clinic, with USA National Team coach Geno Auriemma surveying as well. One mother introduced herself to Auriemma and told him her daughter had dreams of playing for him at the University of Connecticut one day. The brought a smile to the coach’s face.

Based on Auriemma’s observation, he said he wasn’t sure who was having more fun — the kids or the players instructing.

“We see them as the great athletes that they are today, but at one time they were their age, sat there and watched some players come,” Auriemma said. “Now that’s where they are. They can look down there and say that used to be me. It brings them back when you watch them interact with the kids. You can see how much fun they have.”

Following the clinic, the USA National Team players signed autographs on basketballs, photos and posters for an eager bunch.

Like Bird, it caused guard/forward Angel McCoughtry to think back on her youth basketball days.

“I remember when I was a kid we would do these clinics and it would be so exciting,” McCoughtry said. “I know they’re excited just to be here. It’s always good to get back here and give them our energy.”

Earlier Tuesday morning, Sgt. Maj. Bryan B. Battaglia of the United States Marine Corps spoke to the USA National Team about the unique position they’re in as being role models to young people that love basketball.

It’s not a situation this team is taking for granted.

“Just to be around people you look up to and aspire to be like is exciting, especially at such a young age,” guard Danielle Robinson said. “The little ones will look back and see the shirts and the pictures and realize how special it was.”


Related Videos

Dawn Staley, playing in her third Olympic Games, was elected by her peers - all U.S. team captains - to carry the flag and lead the U.S. delegation into the 2004 Opening Ceremony. She reflects back on her selection and what it meant to her.

Several notable athletes on the USA National Team sat out most, if not all, of the 2019 WNBA season and are gearing up to get back on the court with their pro teams as the league launches the 2020 season.

USA Basketball National Team standouts Nneka Ogwumike and Napheesa Collier offer their thoughts and insights to seven of the nation's best collegiate athletes in USA Basketball's first Junior National Team panel discussion.

The 2018 USA Basketball Women’s National Team overcame a 16-point deficit in a 74-68 win over Canada on Sept. 8, 2018 at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Connecticut. The USA outscored Canada by 18 points in the final two quarters to avoid its first loss on home soil since a 65-64 exhibition defeat at the University of Tennessee on Nov. 7, 1999.

Four years ago, after the 2016 USA Basketball Women’s National Team had been together for less than a week and played one exhibition against the USA Select Team (a game that will be re-aired in two weeks), the USA squad traveled from Los Angeles to Newark, Delaware, for an exhibition game against France. Tina Charles finished with 17 points, five rebounds and two assists, and the U.S. used a potent second half performance to seize an 84-62 victory.

The home of the Blue Hens also was home to Elena Delle Donne during her collegiate career. It was where during her four years, she helped lead UD to a 104-32 record (.765 winning percentage), the 2013 NCAA Sweet Sixteen, 2012 NCAA second round, a pair of WNITs, two Colonial Athletic Association regular season titles and two CAA tournament crowns.

Related Content

As young athletes navigate through adolescence, they may run into situations that challenge their moral compass. Whether your athlete is faced with an ethical dilemma in school, in sport, or in the community, doing the right thing is important – no matter who is watching.

Brittney Griner has won three gold medals and compiled a 34-2 record in a USA Basketball jersey.

USA Basketball Associate and Gold Coach Licenses for the 2020-21 season are now available.

The dynamic duo of Sue Bird and Breanna Stewart were the one-two punch that helped lead the Seattle Storm to a fourth WNBA title – all four of which featured Bird.

Seimone Augustus has won seven gold medals with USA Basketball.

Coach Licensing & Organization Accreditation Login

Forgot Password?