By: Genet C. Soule—
Pacers legend Darnell Hillman, offered a basketball clinic for 32 youth in the Youth Opportunity Center (YOC) gym on Wednesday afternoon, February 16th. Hillman began with a motivational talk about old-school values: respect for self and others, dedication, accountability, responsibility and commitment. Then he did some drills around the court. His visit was part of the YOC’s recreational and activities program.
Last fall, the YOC added a basketball league to its roster of recreational activities for the boys, and recently started a league for the girls. Created by Kendi Zvokel, YOC Recreation and Activities Coordinator, the program is a positive influence for the youth, teaching them self-discipline and responsibility, and building essential teamwork skills.
Darnell Hillman is one of several motivational speakers who have been invited to lead a clinic. Others include members of the Ball State University Women’s and Men’s Basketball Team, Anderson University Women’s Basketball Team, coaching staff from Muncie Central and Burris High Schools, and YOC CEO Rick Rowray, a former college basketball standout.
Darnell Hillman, aka “Dr. Dunk,” was selected eighth overall in the 1971 ABA Draft, played six seasons for the Pacers. Hillman works for Pacers Sports & Entertainment as Associate Director/Camps & Clinics/Alumni Relations. The mission of Pacers Sports and Entertainment is to promote the development and well-being of youth and families through Pacers Cares, with a particular focus on Education, Service & Health.
The Youth Opportunity Center (YOC) is a nationally accredited, not-for-profit behavioral treatment center serving children and youth from throughout Indiana. Founded in 1992, the YOC offers a complementary range of services on its 75-acre campus including residential and outpatient counseling, on-grounds accredited school, CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), juvenile court, day treatment program, and juvenile detention. The YOC is accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA) and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Genet C. Soule is Development Coordinator at the Youth Opportunity Center Foundation