The Phoenix Suns and Casino Arizona hosted a basketball clinic featuring Phoenix Suns guard Tyler Ennis and broadcaster Tom Leander on January 15 at Salt River High School. Every season, Casino Arizona and the Phoenix Suns join forces to host this event for youth of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community and children of tribal employees. About 40 youngsters and their family members attended.
The guests started the clinic by talking about the benefits of being healthy by drinking a lot of water, eating right and exercising daily.
“Before you play basketball or go play outside, drink lots of water and be sure to stretch, especially here in Phoenix,” said Ennis, who is new to Phoenix this year. Ennis is a Canadian basketball player who played at Syracuse University for one year, 2013-2014, and then got drafted by the Suns as the 18th overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft.
The Phoenix Suns Gorilla also made an appearance, playing with the youth and getting them hyped up to play ball.
Divided into groups, the kids rotated through five stations to practice basketball skills led by Ennis, Leander, Steve Hunter, the Gorilla and the squad, learning how to run on the court, dribble the ball, shoot the ball, and pass overhand and underhand. They rotated every eight minutes to the stations around the gym. Throughout the event, youth could be heard laughing and cheering each other on at each of the stations.
After the clinic, youth and parents spent time meeting and talking with the players and the Gorilla, getting autographs and gifts.