Passarella’s Basketball Class Focuses on Learning and Fun

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Making a difference in kids’ lives is the motivation behind Coach Tony Passarella’s 10-week spring basketball session that starts March 29.

For the last eight years, Passarella has taught the sports to kids as young as 5 to those 12 years old.

Each session starts with a warm-up and then continues with exercises that include running and jumping. After that, Passarella teaches fundamental skills like dribbling and ball handling. He then moves forward into more advanced dribbling when students weave the balls through cones. Then it’s on to passing skills and shooting.

Passarella then has a competition for the kids and a scrimmage with half the court. Through it all, he gives the kids lessons on teamwork, perseverance and respect.

Training culminates in week 10 with a full court scrimmage – five on five – with the scoreboard on. After the game, there’s a medal ceremony.

“We got a little medal to put on their neck and they stand on stage,” Passarella said. “I encourage the parents to bring signs and bring camcorders or a camera. It’s very exciting in the last week, the 10th week. A lot of cameras … people are taking pictures. It’s a fun atmosphere.”

Passarella says a lot of the kids come back each year.
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“I’m expecting a really good turnout,” Passarella said of this season’s class.

There are two classes: one for kids 5 through 8 and the other for those 9 through 12 years old. The classes are on Thursdays and are back to back – one is from 4 p.m. to 4:50 p.m. for the 5 to 8-year-olds and the other class for the 9 through 12-year-olds is from 5 p.m. to 5:50 p.m. The class is located at Pacific Community Center at 501 S. Pacific Ave. in Glendale. The class is for both boys and girls and costs $85 for 10 weeks. Find out more at To register, call (818) 548-2184 or go to the community center and sign up there.

“It’s been a lot of fun,” Passarella said. “I want to do this as long as I can.”