• December 25, 2014

Basketball WNBA veteran Hornbuckle will stress fundamentals at Ellison clinics

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Posted: Wednesday, May 28, 2014 12:08 am

Former University of Tennessee star and first-round WNBA draft pick Alexis Hornbuckle learned the fundamentals of basketball from her father. 

“And now I think it’s important, when I can, to pass on my knowledge of the fundamentals to others,” she said.

Hornbuckle will put on three clinics at Ellison High School’s gymnasium this week.

On Thursday, Hornbuckle’s first clinic is open to girls in eighth through 12th grades. The clinic will start at 5 p.m. and conclude at 8.

Friday’s clinic, open only to kids in fifth through eighth grades, is also from 5-8 p.m.

Saturday’s clinic, from 1-4 p.m., is open to girls in eighth through 12th grades.

The cost for each of the sessions is $25. To reserve a spot or for more information, call 254-501-0631.

“I will be stressing the fundamentals of shooting, ball-handling and defense,” Hornbuckle said. “I want to teach the girls the fundamentals on how to play like a champion.”

Hornbuckle is fully qualified to do so.

She was a key player on two NCAA championship squads at Tennessee, coached by the legendary Pat Summitt. Hornbuckle earned First-Team All-SEC honors in 2007.

“My father (Jerome) taught me the fundamentals so well that by the time I got to play for Coach Summitt, I was used to working hard and doing things correctly,” Hornbuckle. “It was an honor to play for Coach Summitt, a legend, and be a part of teams that won championships there. I learned a lot from her, too.

“So I want to help pass on what I’ve learned — help girls get to the level they want to be at.”

Hornbuckle has conducted clinics in the past and she said the best way to teach is to not have the three-hour session itinerary completely crafted in stone.

“It’s important that I find out where the group is at, then I can adjust from there,” Hornbuckle said. “But, no matter what, I always try to give each girl a lesson that they might not be getting in league ball or school ball.”

Hornbuckle met Ellison head coach Sherry McKinnon and, soon after, Hornbuckle agreed to conduct three clinics in Killeen.

“I met Coach McKinnon through a mutual friend whose daughter played for Coach McKinnon,” Hornbuckle explained. “Coach McKinnon is a really nice lady and I know she’s a very good coach and I’m glad to be doing these clinics.”

Post-clinic, each attendee can receive an autograph from Hornbuckle.

“I’m always willing to give autographs at the end of the sessions and if any girl would like me to take a photo with her, that’s fine, too,” Hornbuckle said.

Hornbuckle remains the all-time steals leader at Tennessee and has played professionally for six seasons. At age 28, she hasn’t ruled out a return to the WNBA.

“If I get a call, I’ll be ready to play,” Hornbuckle said. “Until then, I still want to find a way to contribute to this game that I enjoy so much and, right now, that way is to teach others.”

ALEXIS HORNBUCKLE CLINICS

  • Thursday: 5-8 p.m., grades 8-12
  • Friday: 5-8 p.m., grades 5-8
  • Saturday: 1-4 p.m., grades 8-12

Each clinic costs $25. All sessions at Ellison High School gymnasium. To reserve a spot or for more information, call 254-501-0631.

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