G. Ray Bodley High School Senior Breahna Boots recently wrote an article about the Fulton boys varsity basketball team that can be seen on RaiderNet, the schools’ Journalism Club website. G. Ray Bodley High School English and Journalism Teacher and Journalism Club Advisor Justine Nylen oversees the website. In that article, Ms. Boots did an amazing job of capturing the essence of the challenges we are all currently facing while adapting during a pandemic. She reminds us that for the time being, many students are tempted to stray from the habits that help them succeed academically and, in some cases, athletically without the demands of a traditional school day. With the permission of Mrs. Nylen, I transformed Ms. Boots’ article into a reflection of the ingenuity currently being displayed by the Fulton boys basketball program. Special thanks to Fulton boys varsity basketball coach Sean Broderick for additionally detailing the content of the zoom workouts and training’s that were presented to his program. The following is Ms. Boots’ message of leadership and support to her school and community as she prepares to embark on the next phase of her life. “We’re all currently going through the same historical moment. Stay active and continue to learn something new every day, GRB! The best way to get through it is to stick together as a community.”
Members of the Fulton boys’ basketball program are taking part in a program that offers many free opportunities during shutdowns related to the Novel Coronavirus Pandemic. Two days each week, players are given an opportunity to do live Zoom workouts with former Syracuse basketball player and coach Eric Devendorf. Players can also do live workouts with former NFL player Leroy Collins four days a week. The programs’ virtual experience is highlighted by once a week conversations with prominent local coaches.
According to Fulton Boys Varsity Basketball coach Sean Broderick, exercise space and a device that connected to the internet was all that was needed for players to participate in former Syracuse player and coach Eric Devendorf and former NFL player Leroy Collins’ live zoom workouts. Broderick believes that his program will benefit from Devendorf’s emphasis on ball-handling that results with open shots against off-balance defenders. Collins has been a frequent supporter of the Fulton Boys Basketball program in recent years. Fulton basketball players of all ages are familiar with Collins’ emphasis on strength, conditioning, and speed. Broderick knows that Collins is a great asset to his program. “Leroy takes the time to talk to the kids on the panel, call them by name during the workout and encourages them. I think that’s so important for our kids,” Broderick said. “He’s been outstanding.”
Players have also had once a week zoom training’s and conversations with some highly notable guest speakers. Oswego State Men’s Basketball Coach Jason Leone, Cazenovia College Men’s Basketball coach Justin Stern, Graduate Basketball coach from Syracuse University Ben Horowitz and Nazareth College Head Basketball coach and Fulton native Kevin Broderick have all spoken to the players. After facilitating several informative workouts, Eric Devendorf was the program’s most recent guest speaker. Even if he wanted to, Fulton’s coach Broderick couldn’t put a price tag on the experience players in his program have had while interacting with these coaches. Appropriate for these unprecedented times, players were challenged to be flexible in their approaches in order to overcome challenging situations. Most importantly, they were challenged to be accountable for maintaining their priorities regardless of the circumstances around them. Broderick believes that the encouragement these coaches gave Fulton Basketball players transcends the game. “Their messages have been so great for our kids. Not only are they about basketball but it’s really about life,” Broderick said. “(These guys are) some really top-level leaders.”
The live workouts and training’s are not mandatory, but there are many opportunities for players to join when they have free time. Seniors to be Jack Broderick, Marcus Shepard, and Dominic Abbott have taken on leadership roles heading into next season. They believe the goals they are setting for themselves will result with more success on the court and in the classroom. “My academics are really the most important thing I’m focusing on, but I also want all my teammates to take advantage of all of the team and individual live video workouts that are offered to use for free right now,” Broderick said. “It’s a great opportunity for us to work out together, even if we can’t be together.”