Gary Fife, MNN Editorial Assistant –
“Dribble to Stop Diabetes” participants learn tips for healthy lifestyles –
(OKEMAH)—The Muscogee (Creek) Nation (MCN) teamed up with the Women’s National Basketball Association’s Tulsa Shock at the Panther Dome in Okemah for a “Dribble to Stop Diabetes” Clinic and Traveling Practice, July 26. It is the second for the team and the MCN.
The event aimed to promote the importance of healthy, active lifestyles, as well as diabetes awareness, prevention and management through the campaign, “Dribble to Stop Diabetes.” It gave young basketball players an opportunity to participate in a skills clinic with a professional coach and work with Tulsa Shock players.
WNBA stars such as former OU All-American Courtney Paris, Ivory Latta, Kayla Peterson, Amber Holt and Glory Johnson were among the Tulsa Shock players on hand. The Shock mascot “Volt” gave a slam dunk show.
Joe Crawford, President of the Shock Basketball Academy, summed up the combination learning and practice drills for the youth, “We going to be doing a ton of basketball. We’re gong to be doing ball handling drills and shooting drills. It’s going to be active and exciting, enthusiastic. They’re also going to talk about some healthy lifestyles. We’re going to really make this a good event for the kids, fitness-wise, health-wise.” The sport of basketball, he said, is effective because it’s so popular with children, “A ton of kids love it. Everywhere we go, we get really good turn-outs.”
Marlene Livaudais, Director of Sponsorship for the Tulsa Shock, explained the goals of the clinic, “It’s really to bring a message to the Creek Nation youth that exercise and healthy eating habits really help to prevent diabetes. Kids love basketball. It’s a proven fact that more kids play team basketball than any other sport.”
Livaudais said that Shock and the Creek Nation have similar goals for young people, so the partnership works well, “A lot of our initiative align well together. The Tulsa Shock is all about being healthy, teaching fitness and wellness as one of our major initiatives for our teams and that’s one of the major initiatives for the Creek Nation.”
Youth that attended the clinic enjoyed themselves and picked up some pointers. Breanna Wood from Shawnee, liked the chance to meet star players, “My mom told me about it. Courtney Paris is what attracted me the most, so we decided to come out here.” Wood plays for Shawnee High School.
Marie Harjo plays for Holdenville and aims to be a better ball handler, too, she said. At the clinic she learned “How to dribble the right way and all that.” She admitted that she would like to play for the Tulsa Shock someday.
Crawford put the participants through several drills including ball handling skills, reaction times, free throw shooting and fitness exercises.
Following the clinic, spectators watched the Tulsa Shock in a full-speed traveling practice and had an autograph signing/photograph session with the players.
(Story provided to us by the Muscogee Nation News, read this and others@http://www.muscogeenation-nsn.gov/images/stories/pdf/MNN/aug01_2012.pdf)