ALBANY’S young and aspiring basketball players will have the opportunity to participate in a potentially life-changing clinic next month, with National Basketball League Hall of Famer and former Perth Wildcats coach Cal Bruton making the trip to Albany.
PCYC’s Ice Breakers facilitator Craig Golding said he met the ‘Black Pearl’ when he was playing against the Joondalup City Wolves years ago. “I played against him a few years ago and he absolutely killed me,” he said jokingly.
“He’s a great bloke though. He wants to reach remote places to spread his message.
“A lot of A-grade Albany Basketball Association coaches all got behind the idea to bring him down; we’ve already had a fair few people sign up too.”
One of the NBL’s first imports to play in the Brisbane Bullets in 1979, Bruton played and coached prolifically across five teams as well as representing Australia at the 1986 FIBA World Champion- ship in Spain.
The clinics won’t just be about the “Five fundamentals” basketballers should learn though; players will learn the many lessons in life Bruton learnt through basketball.
“Most kids are looking for some- thing to hang their hat on and learn skills to get them through life,” Bruton said, in a highly antici- pated exclusive interview with The Weekender.
“It’s really important to me to have a great work ethic, and to back that up with a great skill set.
“So when you can pass on a posi- tive message to the youth, inspire them to do better and make a difference, you can only imagine what the world will be like.”
While learning the fundamentals of basketball such as passing and how to handle the ball Bruton-style, he said he will also use acronyms to give youth the tools to be better people.
“I use B.R.U.T.O.N. a lot, which means be kind to others, respect your elders, use your manners, trust in God, own your mistakes and never give up,” he said.
Bruton spends his time taking his “travelling salesman” routine to disadvantaged kids in country Australia.
“I had a bit of a rough childhood, so for me sport was a way to be successful and to make myself a better person,” he said.
“When my mum passed away she left me a letter telling me to continue putting sunshine into other people’s lives, and that’s what I’m trying to do.”
For more information on the Bruton Fundamental Clinic this is open to 8-16 year olds, contact Craig Golding on icebreakers.albany@ wapcyc.com.au.
Photo: Courtesy Cal Bruton