Basketball being taught at VVH | News | The Press and Standard

by | November 11, 2017 5:00 pm

Last Updated: November 8, 2017 at 12:45 pm

The fact that USC Salkehatchie head basketball coach Jake Williams got kicked out of the first game of the season was a highlight of discussion of Williams’ class at Veterans Victory House on Nov. 2.
“They were kicking our kids in the groin,” Williams told the dozen veterans. “Then they called the penalty on us.” When he protested, the referee kicked him out. Everyone smiled.
He moved on to tell the group about recruiting and Salk’s mission in Thursday’s session, which was the second class in an eight-week course.
The class for Victory House residents was the brainchild of USC Salk Athletic Director Jane Brewer, implemented by Holly Mardell of VVH. Those ages 60 and older can audit classes at USC Salk for free, so Brewer thought it would be a good fit for VVH residents.
“It is really, truly blossoming into a wonderful thing for these fellows,” Mardell said. “Coach Williams has been fabulous and I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the engagement with the residents.”
The one-hour sessions include topics like recruiting, strategies for handling difficult players, game strategies, challenges of the job and whatever else comes up. Veterans ask questions and just get to talk with the coach.
“It’s really a discussion more than a class,” Mardell said. Some of the residents are basketball fans, some know nothing about the game. But they are all interested — attendance is growing.
Those who attend the class will be recognized at a basketball game sponsored by VVH in February. But Mardell hopes to arrange for those who are interested to attend home games as well. She’s also having t-shirts made and planning a lunch with the entire Indian team so that residents can meet and talk with the players.
“It’s a great outreach for Salkehatchie and it’s really great for our residents,” Mardell said.
“USC Salkehatchie is proud of our veterans at Veterans Victory House. Every year we designate one of our home basketball games to be VVH night and the wonderful staff at VVH brings a crowd of veterans. It’s a great evening. We enjoy the partnership so much we thought perhaps the veterans would enjoy taking basketball a couple of hours a week. Coach Williams was thrilled to go talk basketball strategy and game film with some knowledgeable fans. And we plan to recognize these basketball course graduates at the VVH game in the spring. We appreciate these veterans so much for their great service to our country. Engaging them in Salk and Salk basketball is fun for all of us,” said Brewer.

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