Washburn University basketball coach Bob Chipman and five members of the Ichabod team gave some pointers on the game of basketball, and a few on the game of life, to residents of the Kansas Juvenile Correctional Complex (KJCC) last week.
With their first game of the season a little over two weeks away, Chipman and a few of his players took time out to teach a group of juvenile offenders about basketball, as well as to encourage them to make healthy life choices.
The visitors coached the residents on techniques of the game and ran through a series of drills that helped bond the two groups of young men, many of whom are very close in age. The day ended with one of the young offenders tossing alley-oop passes to red-shirt freshman Evan Robinson.
“It’s a great feeling to get this opportunity to serve the community, and I guarantee that I will learn a lot more from them than I will teach them,” said Robinson. “It’s good to see the smiles on their faces and know that we’re able to make a positive impact in some way.”
Chipman first connected with KJCC through one of his former players, Steve Bonner, who now serves as a corrections counselor at the facility.
“We all make mistakes, in life, and in basketball,” Chipman told the juvenile offenders. “But you learn from your mistakes and you go on. Just like in basketball, it’s not how you start, but how you finish that counts. I want every one of you to finish great.”
Robinson was joined by Alex North, Christian Ulsaker, Kory Fisher and Chris Deanes at the clinic.
“I was lucky to have basketball to keep me on the right track,” said North. “We want to encourage these guys that just because you’ve made one mistake, your whole life doesn’t have to go that way.”
“We’ve got such a great bunch of guys, and they love people and they love connecting with people through basketball,” said Chipman, who has seen his charges interact with youth during summer camps and clinics. “I knew they would be great at motivating these young men. I hope that later on these
young men will look back and think, ‘You know they’re doing something great with their talents, and I want to do something great too.’”
“I thought it was really great that they came here (for the clinic),” said one 19-year-old offender who led his team to a victory in a five-on-five culmination to the event. “It was a great atmosphere, and I’m really grateful that they came. There’s not that much to look forward to here, and they were pretty cool.”
“Just to see a smile on the young men’s faces made it great,” said Megan Milner, deputy superintendent at KJCC, who oversees educational programs like the clinic. “Anytime they can have positive interactions with people from the community, it helps prepare them for the life they have ahead of them.”
Todd Fertig is Publications Writer for the Kansas Department of Corrections.
Updated: February 08 2018