NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Sports

August 30, 2013

Celtics visit Merrimac

Maxwell, Bradley host clinic for Young family

(Continued)

“My dad wrote the essay,” Griffin said. “It was about how I help around the house and stuff, but he won.”

Maxwell opened the clinic by telling a story of how he was cut from his high school basketball team as a freshman. He grew four inches — to 6-foot-7 1/2 — by his sophomore season. Maxwell said, “Then my coach was happy to have me.” His moral of the story was that youth players should never stop trying.

“Not everybody is going to be great,” Maxwell said. “Be the best you can be.”

Bradley told a story of how he nearly quit after his sophomore year of high school out of frustration that he was not ranked as one of the top 100 basketball players in his class. His mother encouraged him to keep working, and by his senior year, he was the top-ranked player in his class. Bradley chose the number zero for his Celtics jersey as a reminder that he had to start over from the bottom.

“When I got to the NBA, I had to reprove myself,” Bradley said. “If you want to be a great basketball player, you have to work at it every day.”

Maxwell and Bradley then led a 40-minute clinic for the youth players, teaching fundamentals of defense, dribbling and left-handed layups. They then answered a series of questions from the youth players and their parents. Of note, Bradley said the toughest shooting guard for him to cover is Kobe Bryant. His favorite teammates are Jeff Green and Courtney Lee. Maxwell said he had the most trouble guarding Hakeem Olajuwan, and his favorite teammate was Robert Parrish, whom he nicknamed “The Chief” after a character in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”

Pentucket Regional High freshman Conor O’Neil was one of three youth players selected to attempt to take Bradley off the dribble. He was the only one to avoid getting the ball stolen from Bradley, although he lost his dribble out of bounds after attempting to pass it to himself through Bradley’s legs.

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