MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A basketball clinic taught dozens of Twin Cities youth more than just the basic skills of the game.

The “Full Court Press: Prep for Success” program hosted its first clinic ever in Minneapolis on Saturday. The clinic targets at-risk youth and is designed to introduce positive role models through the game of basketball.

Retired NBA players like Richard Coffey volunteered as mentors.

“Just playing sports, in general, is so much more than sports.” Retired Timberwolves player Richard Coffey said. “You learn life lessons, you learn discipline, you learn sacrifice, how to get through challenges and how to get through up and downs.”

Coffey oversaw a rebound drill. Each time a young player missed a throw or miscalculated a rebound became a lesson in perseverance.

“It’s not important where you come from but it’s important how you attack life and how you go after what you want to do,” Coffey said.

Carmyn Benjamin of Minneapolis was one of the kids participating in the clinic.

“They’re really cool and their stories are cool,” said Carmyn Benjamin.

But the clinic wasn’t just centered around the hard court. Roundtable discussions allowed young athletes to hear about life beyond the pros.

“They get a chance to hear from nba players and ask questions and interact with them,” said Mike Peterson of Urban Ventures.
“Basketball isn’t just about basketball. You need an education too,” Benjamin said.

There was also a classroom discussion that gave kids the tools to deal with every day challenges.

“They’re talking through issues around authority and what does it mean to deal with authority in different parts of your life,” said Peterson.

The Full Court Press Program tours the country. Other NBA stars at Saturday’s clinic included Sam Perkins, Willie Burton and Ben Coleman.