West Orange High alum to host free youth basketball clinic

Wendell Coates Jr. will host 150 kids for a free basketball clinic in March.

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West Orange County community leader Wendell Coates Jr., a former West Orange boys basketball player, has been giving back to the area he calls home for years now as a basketball coach, currently serving as the coach of Oak Ridge High’s junior varsity team, as the founder of the non-profit Global Not Local Cares, Inc. and as the youth community director for The Kingdom Church. 

But he’s not done yet.

The next way Coates wants to give back to his community is by hosting 150 kids for a free basketball clinic from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, March 23, at the West Orange Recreation Center in Winter Garden. 

“It’s in my heart to give back to these kids, man,” Coates said. 

“I’ve been exposed to a lot of cool things over my years, especially in basketball, which that’s my first love. So, I feel like it would be unjust for me not to come back to my community and pour the things I’ve learned back into this place.” 

For Coates, this clinic is about teaching kids who otherwise would not have an avenue to learn about the game. The lessons will include drills on the fundamentals they need to grow their skills independently, without spending any money. 

“We never know what these kids are going to grow up to be,” Coates said. “So I want to be part of helping them become whatever they can be. I want to do my part to try and help them get to their next level. 

“We’re going to have a lot of fundamental drills that are going to help show the kids what’s necessary to be a good basketball player,” he said. “We’re going to go into the details and show them the work behind what they see on TV. Show them drills that they might not even know about and that they could do without a trainer, without spending crazy money. Drills they could take home and work on by themselves. I just want to expose the community to the resources we have and let them know that it doesn’t take a lot of money to become a better basketball player.”

In addition to the on-court activities, free uniforms, food and Gatorade will be provided to all 150 participants of the six-hour clinic. All participants will have to provide is a pair of athletic shoes.

Sam Albuquerque is the Sports Editor for the Orange Observer. Please contact him with story ideas, results and statistics.

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Sam Albuquerque

A native of João Pessoa, Brazil, Sam Albuquerque moved in 1997 to Central Florida as a kid. After earning a communications degree in 2016 from the University of Central Florida, he started his career covering sports as a producer for a local radio station, ESPN 580 Orlando. He went on to earn a master’s degree in editorial journalism from Northwestern University, before moving to South Carolina to cover local sports for the USA Today Network’s Spartanburg Herald-Journal. When he’s not working, you can find him spending time with his lovely wife, Sarah, newborn son, Noah, and dog named Skulí.

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