Skills and drills a slam-dunk for varsity and CYO players

CYO player practices dribbling the ball down the court through a row of orange conesVarsity player stands beneath net as CYO player practices a lay upBasketball coach demonstrates skills drill as CYO and varsity players watch

The Cannoneers varsity team had an opportunity to scrimmage with the future of Watervliet basketball during a recent skills and drills session with CYO players from the elementary school.

Members of the varsity boys team worked side-by-side with the younger players guiding and encouraging them as they practiced passing the ball, catching, dribbling, and lay ups on the court in the Harry Tucker Gymnasium at Watervliet Jr.-Sr. High School. View more photos on the WCSD Facebook page

More than basketball

Several current varsity players began their basketball careers in the CYO program. Branden Joyner, Jayden Robles, Aundru Woods, Matthew Wistuk, Rondell Halley and Trevor Holloway all honed their hoops skills through the CYO during their elementary years.

In addition to the physical workout, varsity basketball coach Marc Fruscio shared with the CYO players his top three beliefs for success on the court — discipline, play hard and execution.

“To get to be the best, you have to play hard and practice discipline,” he said. “Don’t say to yourself ‘I can’t do that’ – because you can.”

He also advised players that communication and teamwork is essential. “It’s more than basketball, it’s about creating relationships,” he said.

Coach Fruscio teamed up with Rosie Sharp, who oversees the CYO basketball program, to coordinate skills and drills and connect the two student athlete groups on the court.

“It’s a good way for our players to be involved, be role models and give back to the community,” he said. “It also shows the younger players how it is really a family atmosphere all the way through our basketball program.”

The varsity coach credits the CYO program with preparing players for the future.

“Watching them play on the weekends gives me great hope that the success will continue for many years at Watervliet High School because of the time and effort Rosie and all of the (CYO) coaches put in each and every day,” Coach Fruscio said.