The Times West Virginian

Fairmont State Sports

May 11, 2014

FSU basketball academy begins Tuesday

FAIRMONT — Joe Mazzulla racked up 370 assists during his career at West Virginia University.

Now he’s ready to pass some knowledge on to local basketball players.

The former point guard, who is now an assistant coach at Fairmont State University, will join coach Jerrod Calhoun for the Fairmont State Basketball Academy starting Tuesday.

“It focuses on the same skill development program that we do with our guys,” Mazzulla said. “A lot of hands-on drills. Just teaching the fundamentals of the game.”

Open to elementary school, middle school and high school boys and girls, the six-week program will be held in the Feaster Center on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from May 13 until June 8. Grades 3-5 will work out from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., grades 6-8 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. and grades 9-12 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The basketball academy will break athletes up into small groups, where they will learn about ball handling, footwork, passing, shooting and other skills. In addition, Mazzulla said that for the more advanced players the coaches may throw in a couple of the Falcons’ sets and teach them how to play out of them offensively.

“Nowadays skill development is becoming one of the most important parts of basketball,” Mazzulla said. “Boys and girls have to know how to pass, catch and shoot. Anytime you can get a head start on a skill-development program to learn and understand the game, it’s very valuable at any level.”

Cost for the entire program is $240 for 12 sessions or $20 per session. Athletes can register at the first session on May 13 or by contacting Mazzulla at jmazzulla21@gmail.com or at 401-481-0464.

Mazzulla said that if players cannot attend the first session but would like to be part of it, he can work around their schedules.

“We’re very flexible,” he said. “We really want to reach out to the community for this. We want to help the kids prepare for their high school or middle school season. If they can’t make the first one, just call me and we will figure something out.”

Email Mike DeFabo at mdefabo@timeswv.com or follow him on Twitter @MikeDeFaboTWV.

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