When Paige McCormick was a young girl Saturday mornings in fall and winter months were special.
She got up early and headed to the Heuvelton Central gym for biddy basketball under the direction of Dave Kingsley.
Like so many wide-eyed girls across the country and the around the world she had big dreams and she also had the physical potential to make those dreams happen.
And she lived them to the fullest.
It was very obvious, very early that she had the total package of ability and attitude to be special with the work ethic to match. She led Heuvelton to three straight New York State Class D Championships as a three-time New York State Class D Player of the Year. She also pitched Bulldog teams to the New York State Class D Softball Final Four.
An incredible experience made even more memorable because she shared it with her younger sister Madison.
She earned an NCAA Division I Scholarship to the University of Massachusetts but as a senior transferred to Roberts Wesleyan University and teamed up with Madison again with the Red Hawks who won the NEAC Conference title. She earned all conference honors and played in the NCAA Division II Tournament.
“I put so much into it and it was really a blessing to have so many great coaches. We won three straight tournaments and the most competitive and toughest games came in Section 10. I can remember those great games like they were yesterday,” says McCormick who is spending the summer at her family home in the hamlet of Galilee.
“When I think back it is really surreal.”
This summer she wants to help other young girls pursue their dreams on the court as personal or group basketball instructor. In recent summers she and her sister Madison have served as USA Basketball Instructors and coached a team in the New York Royals AAU program.
“Basketball has done so much for me. I want to give back to other kids,” says McCormick.
“I know there are plenty very good ballers in Section 10 who could be great. I really want to help them.”
For starters, McCormick is doing most of her instructions outside but she could shift inside if a facility was available. She also plans to teach at the summer camps of area schools.
Her individual instruction is patterned after Kacie Wentworth of Canton who has been teaching the windwill to aspiring young softball pitchers for many years.
“I went to Kacie for many years and she really helped me and inspired me. She did so much for me and I really want to do that for other kids,” says McCormick.
“We have a nice court in our driveway and I have done some teaching sessions at the outdoor courts at the Ogdensburg Boys and Girls Club. There are nice outdoor courts all over the area.”
The instruction and training sessions are open to players of all ages and the program concentrates on basic basketball skills such as shooting, ballhandling and footwork and others. Players only have to bring their sneakers and a water bottle.
Paige can be contacted at email@example.com or by messaging her on other social accounts.
“This is a great opportunity to learn from one of the absolute bests,” says Heuvelton’s three-time New York State Class D Girls Basketball Championship Coach Rob Powers.