ARCANUM – Arcanum boys basketball coach Marcus Bixler hoped to have 30 boys participate in the Dribble Club when he created it but was pleasantly surprised when 60 kids signed up.
“It’s a huge group of kids,” Bixler said. “I was shocked. I thought if we get 30, 35 maybe this first year I would be real pleased.”
The boys, who are in the first through sixth grades, represent four or five different schools. They’ve enrolled in a program that is designed to get them working on their ball handling year-round.
“All we do is dribble and work on different facets of ball handling throughout the year,” Bixler said.
The Dribble Club meets for one-hour sessions six times during the summer and six times during the winter. The program will culminate with the boys showcasing their skills during halftime of an Arcanum varsity boys basketball game.
“They’re going to have a chance to kind of perform and show off their skills at halftime of one of the games here this winter,” Bixler said.
When he was creating the Dribble Club, Bixler wanted a program that could get young boys excited about basketball. He knew some of them wouldn’t have the strength to shoot at a regulation rim so he decided to put all the focusing on something they’d all be able to do – dribbling.
“I was trying to figure out some things that we could do that would be a lit bit different and some things that we can do, especially get our younger kids involved,” Bixler said. “You know you have first graders, second graders that aren’t going to be able to shoot the ball at a 10-foot rim very easily so you have to figure out what can we do to get those kids involved with basketball but knowing that we may not always have the opportunity to shoot on a basket or whatever it may be.”
With the help of high assistant coaches and members of Arcanum’s high school boys basketball program, Bixler has led the Dribble Club. The Trojans even created a DVD that shows high school players performing ball handling drills and gave a copy to each member of the Dribble Club.
“It just gives them an earlier insight and hopefully passion and love for basketball and working on their ball handling and some of the different skills,” Bixler said.
Bixler encouraged the kids to continue working on their ball handling skills during their free time and told them their dribbling skills will reflect the amount of work they put in.
“It’s a direct correlation to the amount of time you put in,” Bixler said. “If you want to be a good ball handler, you’re going to put the time in. If you don’t put the time in, you won’t be. And that’s kind of the neat thing about it.”
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.