Royal OakJuly 16, 2012
Royal Oak High boys hoops coach hosts clinic stressing the fundamentals of shooting
By Jason Carmel Davis
C & G Sports Writer
ROYAL OAK — Royal Oak High boys basketball coach Mike Massucci has put forth an interesting challenge to any young basketball enthusiasts who want to improve their shooting skills.
Massucci, who just completed his first full season with the Ravens, has dared hoop lovers to get up 10,000 shots from April to October — basically the prep basketball offseason.
Massucci said he got the idea after attending a basketball practice at Oakland University. He’s also viewed practices at Michigan State University and the University of Michigan.
“I decided to set the number really high because I wanted it to be something a casual player wouldn’t aspire to,” said Massucci, who joined the Royal Oak High staff after 16 years at Royal Oak Shrine.
“If you’re serious about the game, you do all you can to get the shots up and to get better.”
To help the players along on their journey, Massucci hosted a four-day clinic at Royal Oak High July 9-12. More than 40 youngsters, ranging from fourth to eighth grade, took part in the camp, where they worked on shooting fundamentals, including grip, balance, shooting form, release point and follow through.
Cost for the camp was $65. Massucci even brought in an individual trainer who specializes in working with athletes.
“Basketball is the game that I love the most, and it’s the one I want to play going forward, so this camp is definitely something that’s good for me,” Royal Oak Middle School eighth-grader Thomas Pagen said.
“(Massucci) has been coaching a long time, so he knows what he’s talking about. Listening to him and following the plan he’s given us can only make us better.”
Massucci, who upon taking over the reins at Royal Oak High hosted a parent/child clinic as a way to build a presence in the community, equipped each camper with a booklet detailing the shooting process — from stance to follow through.
The book contains pages that are all made up of charts focusing on how many shots players take each day: layups, mid-range jumpers, free throws and 3-point shots. Players are asked to tally up the total number of shots taken and initial each day for accountability.
“I always think that if you set goals for yourself and you have a drive to work toward reaching them, you’re much more likely to do that,” Massucci said.
“I think this is a great way for us to work on our games, and it’s really all about the effort. That’s what (Massucci) has been telling us,” Royal Oak Middle School eighth-grader Ryan Land said.
“One thing about it is you have to be open to listening to what the coaches have to say and you have to be open to changing things about your technique. You can’t be hardheaded.”
Having that sound technique can win you a lot of games, according to Massucci.
“You see a lot of kids now who go in to the gym and start shooting 3s. They’re not working other areas of the floor,” Massucci said.
“Being fundamentally sound is important. That’s the culture we want to create. You might not always have the biggest or most athletic team, but if you can play defense and shoot the right way, you can be successful.”
For more information on the clinic, email Massucci at firstname.lastname@example.org.