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WNBA’s Shannon Bobbitt Offers Clinic for Girls

As an athlete, former Washington Mystics point-guard Shannon Bobbitt, 27, understands the importance of living a healthy lifestyle, but she realizes many youth in urban cities aren’t eating the right foods or getting the exercise their bodies need. This Saturday, July 27, she is offering young girls, ages 7 through 14, the opportunity to work one-on-one with her and learn more about better food choices, as well as receive basketball pointers.

The 4th Annual Young Ballers Basketball Clinic will be open to the youth at Harlem, New York’s Johnson Community Center, 2205 First Avenue from 8 a.m. to 12 pm. Even though Bobbitt was born in the Bronx, she says she grew up in Harlem. Now that the WNBA has given her the platform to reach youth nationally, she says she is excited to give back to her community, where it all started. The young basketball player recently chatted with JET to discuss why parents should sign their daughters up. (And that it’s first come, first serve so hurry!)

JET: What can attendees expect when they come out this Saturday?

Shannon: The kids can expect a lot of learning. They will receive a lot of knowledge about the game, life skills, how to be active and they can learn anything about basketball, too. I’ll cover how to stay focused, how to work hard and how to work as a team.

JET: What was the driving force behind creating the Young Ballers Basketball clinic?

Shannon: One of the main reasons was to help these kids live a healthy lifestyle. I’m in an urban community and I want these young ladies to take care of their bodies, stay active and work out every day. I just want to give back to my community, which is really important to me. I’m a role model and I wanted to have a venue for these young ladies to come out and participate in some activities and to just stay out of trouble.

JET: Who is it geared toward? Do the girls have to play on a basketball team to participate?

Shannon: It’s geared toward all young girls who want to play basketball and you don’t even need to play basketball. We don’t just talk about that. I just so happen to be a basketball player. I want these girls to live active lives.

They can learn a lot through sports. It builds self-esteem, it builds confidence and you look better. When you look good, you feel good. I just want them to have high self-esteem and to live healthier lives.

JET: It seems like you’re very passionate about educating people to live healthy lives. How did fighting childhood obesity and educating people on a healthy lifestyle become dear to you?

Shannon: That’s a part of my character because I’ve always been a caring person. Even on the court, I’m very unselfish. I love to make other people smile, I love to make other people’s day. I was always told I was a people’s person and there is nothing better than giving back to the youth. They are our future and I want to know in my heart that I helped someone. As long as I helped someone, I feel good about myself.

JET: Will it be interactive, like hands-on or more lectured style?

Shannon: We’ll do both. I’m going to be hands-on and personal because I never had this done for me. I know it would mean a lot if I was a kid and had a professional athlete come back to the community and be hands on at their own basketball clinic and so we’re going to do a lot of basketball drills, to teach them about the game and we’ll let them compete towards the end of the event. Once the competition is over the kids will receive all of their awards and give-a-ways and then we’ll have a Q&A.

To learn more about Bobbitt, follow her on Twitter @ShannonBobbitt.