Maine’s Red Claws arrive to dribble and instruct

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Red Claws player Kenny Hayes, at left with a microphone, leads the drill, as Crusher, the team's mascot who also plays, looks on during a clinic held in Farmington today.

FARMINGTON – A little Crustacean Nation came to town and with it, some tips on playing basketball.

The Maine Red Claws Summer Clinic Series came to the Dunkin’ Donuts for a 90-minute session on basketball fundamentals at the parking lot in the Mt. Blue Shopping Center this morning. A couple of dozen of young aspiring players from area towns showed up to try their moves as Red Claws player Kenny Hayes showed them how it’s done.

Hayes of the Red Claws, the NBA minor league affiliate of the Boston Celtics and Charlotte Bobcats, brought with him team mascot Crusher, billed as Maine’s only basketball-playing lobster; a giant inflatable Crusher, gift giveaways and two portable hoops.

Cones outlined the court and provided an obstacle course for dribblers. Hayes, with a mic in hand, led the young players through a practice session giving lots of tips along the way. Sitting on the sideline, Frank Donald, Wilton’s parks and recreation director, smiled. He happened to hear about the clinic and brought his granddaughter along to give it a try. He said he was pleased to see that many Wilton basketball players on the teams he’s coached had show up too.

“Anytime they can get a little more ball exposure, more drills, that’s not a bad thing,” Donald said.

Eryn Doiron, a Mt. Blue Middle School student from Wilton, dribbles down the impromptu basketball court set up at the Dunkin' Donuts in Farmington today. Doiron said she liked the basketball drill brush-up.

The Maine Red Claws Summer Clinic Series, sponsored by Dunkin’ Donuts and is open to kids of all ages at no cost and preregistration is not required. All clinic start at 10 a.m. The next clinics will be held at the following locations:

· Thursday, July 7 at 400 US Route 1, Kittery
· Friday, July 8 at 583 Lisbon St., Lisbon Falls
· Tuesday, July 12 at 800 Minot Ave., Auburn
· Wednesday, July 13 at 539 NH Route 16/302, Bartlett, NH
· Thursday, July 14 at 104 Pleasant St., Brunswick
· Monday, July 18 at 865 Portland Rd., Saco
· Tuesday, July 19 at 386 Madison Ave., Skowhegan
· Wednesday, July 20 at 17 Schilling St., Brewer
· Thursday, July 21 at 283 Presque Isle
· Tuesday, August 2 at 1385 Main St., Poland
· Wednesday, August 3 at 632 Main St., Rockland
· Thursday, August 4 at 599 Warren Ave., Portland

Further information can be found on the Red Claws website www.maineredclaws.com as well as at the participating Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants.

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