For three days during Foothills Fall Festival Loren Riddick and former UT Lady Vol Cait McMahan will help 200-plus children learn about basketball basics in an entertaining setting.
“The Loren Riddick Stars of Tomorrow” basketball clinic is an offshoot of the annual basketball camp the former William Blount High School and East Tennessee State University standout organizes every summer.
At the festival, Riddick and McMahan will hold 15- to 20-minute sessions in Adventure Land. The free clinics will be at 1:30, 3:30 and 5:30 p.m. on Friday; at 11:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. on Saturday and at 2 and 4 p.m. Sunday.
The clinics are on the shuffle board court in Greenbelt Park below the dam and in front of the Blount County Health Department.
“We convert the shuffle board court into a basketball court. Dick’s Sporting Goods donated the basketball goal and we will give that away to some lucky youngster,” McMahan said. “We’re going to basically have fun with it and talk about the different aspects of the game. We’ll work on basics -- shooting, rebounding and passing and a little bit of defense for the kids.”
Riddick said there is a “charge” for attending the clinic sessions: “We ask them to do good deed. In those three days we typically have 15 to 20 kids in each session, so we get the chance to work with over 200 kids,” Riddick said. “It is about reaching out to kids. It’s fun, and I’m thankful to be able to do it.”
Since 1999, Riddick has gathered friends from a variety of careers and backgrounds with the goal of teaching children the basics of basketball during an annual one-day summer camp. This past summer Riddick said about 30 volunteers worked with 130 children during the camp, held this year at William Blount High School instead of Everett Gym.
“We had volunteers from all walks of life ranging from former NBA players and Harlem Globetrotters to janitors. Everyone helped serve food. I had massage therapists come and work on some of the old timers,” Riddick said. “Wayne Chism from the University of Tennessee came while he was in from overseas and talked to the kids. Cait McMahan came and worked with the kids.”
McMahan said what impressed her about the camp was that the volunteers teach integrity and leadership. “I felt honored to be a part of the camp,” she said. “And it is great that it is free. It is hard to find a great camp to attend that is free.”
“It is a great, high quality group of people, and the kids have such a positive experience,” he said.
Sponsors for the summer camp include: ORNL Federal Credit Union, the Loren Riddick Team, Holiday Inn Express, Mountaineer Auto Imports, O’Charley’s, Papa John’s, Chick-fil-a restaurant, EZ Stop/Pepsi, Missy Riddick Realtor-Price and Associates, Blount Today, Maryville Alcoa Blount County Parks and Recreation, Dick’s Sporting Goods, William Blount High School, Independence Title and Escrow Services, Inc., Matthew Millsaps Roofing, Foothills Bank and Trust, Arrow Graphics, Media Solutions and Tina Becker at Stroke of Health.