Local Kids Learn to ‘Defend the Rim’

Dennis Evanosky Sherman Lee, stands among the youngsters he put through the paces at last Saturday’s “Defend the Rim” clinic at the Parrot Village Apartments. Fellow Encinal High School alumnus Jeff Brown, far left, helped Lee with the clinic.

 

Encinal High School (EHS) graduate Sherman Lee loves sports. Even better, he loves teaching sports. Lee graduated from EHS in 1957 and — along with his son Michael, EHS class of 1982 — is a member of the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame. 

The elder Lee played football, track and basketball for Encinal. His son played on the school’s 1980 NCS championship football team. Michael then attended Santa Clara University on a baseball and football scholarship.

With help from the city’s Housing Authority, Lee has coached dozens of kids from Alameda at his “Defend the Rim” basketball clinic. He has been putting on the clinic at Parrot Village Apartments at the foot of Wood Street.

More than a dozen kids from Alameda, both boys and girls, participated in last Saturday’s clinic. This marks the fourth year the clinic has taken place. 

Jeff Brown and Richard Maggay both helped put the young players through the paces. Like Lee, both men are Encinal High School graduates. Lee, Brown and Maggay put the participants through an assortment of basketball drills including passing, dribbling and shooting. They all received T-shirts and enjoyed pizza for lunch after the workout. 

An Alameda native and the son of Coach Sherman Lee Sr., Lee has coached several sports for more than 30 years both here and in Southern California. “I just want to teach these kids the basic fundamentals of the game,” said Lee. “I want to bring the level of basketball up in Alameda. I want them to learn the fundamentals of team-oriented ball.”

“It is important to allow all kids the opportunity to learn the game in a clinic like this even if they can’t afford it,” Lee said. He said that he loves seeing the kids learn the game the right way and he wants to make sure all kids could learn. “There’s not too many programs that do that,” he said. 

The clinic has been cost free for the kids the entire time it has been in existence. Lee said he hopes to have a fifth “Defend the Rim” free clinic next year.