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Carroll College hosts New Year’s Eve skills clinic

Posted at 10:58 PM, Dec 31, 2018
and last updated 2019-01-01 12:13:39-05

HELENA — The Carroll College Fighting Saints men’s basketball team hosted almost 90 kids ranging from ages 5 to 13 for a skills clinic Monday. With 90 kids and only a handful of adults, the event seemed well-organized, a feat for which parents commended the staff for being able to handle.

“We appreciate the coaches’ attentiveness … and the ability to take on this age of kids and take over on a camp,” said Danielle Gamradt, a mother to two campers.

But it wasn’t just Saints head coach Kurt Paulson and assistant coach Hasani Simmons who ran the clinic. Senior guard Ife Kalejaiye was on hand to help his coaches coordinate the dozens of kids through various drills, something that he felt was important.

“At least for me growing up, I remember going to these camps and looking up to different players. If they could teach me this that would be the coolest thing in the world,” said Kalejaiye with a smile. “So I tried to just do that, because I know how much that could impact their kids’ life or just their day. Just me giving them a tip if they see me playing out here, so I think it’s cool to come out and give back.”

However, for Paulson, it was all about making sure the campers got a positive experience from the event.

“It was a great turnout, and hopefully the kids had fun. I know our guys were working hard with them and hopefully they took something home with them that they can work on and had a good time,” Paulson said.

After it was all said and done, Kalejaiye admitted that it wasn’t just the kids who learned something on Monday.

“It reminds me to have fun when I‘m playing, because they have so much joy when they’re out there playing,” said Kalejaiye. “At the end of the day they still have fun, they still have joy in it, and that’s a reminder for me that it’s still a game, and you can still have fun while being competitive and intense.”