Free Shooting Clinic at the University of Guam

4, 2006
Free clinic for coaches at UOG
By Patrick E. Wolff Jr.
For Pacific Daily News

Guam basketball coaches will have a tremendous opportunity as basketball shooting coach Eddie Calic will be putting on a clinic today at the University of Guam field house.

"We really want to invite all coaches on the island to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity," Guam Basketball Confederation board member Susan Lupola said. "Especially since now we have the two youth summer leagues -- TakeCare SummerJam and the Shell Drug-Free leagues -- going on."

The clinic is being offered by the International Basketball Federation -- better known as FIBA, the sport's governing body -- so it is free to all participants, she said.

Calic played professionally as a point guard in international leagues, and he hopes to pass on his knowledge of shooting to Guam coaches.

Calic, who was born in the former Yugoslavia, started his basketball career in 1970 at the age of 10, the year that his country became the world champion in basketball.

"It was a very big injection of the game," said Calic, referring to the championship. Prior to that, basketball was a little known game in that country.

Years later, Calic had finished his schooling and was working as a dental technician. He said that after nine years at the job, it dawned on him that he could not see himself continuing his profession for the rest of his life, so he stepped back and looked at the big picture.

"I asked myself, 'What would I like to do?' The answer was simple -- basketball," he said. "I was too old to play anymore, so I went into coaching ... and now I am a professional coach."

Calic is here with the help of the Guam Basketball Confederation and the International Basketball Federation.

FIBA has the globe divided in five regions, and Calic was selected as the zone development officer for the Oceania region.

Stuart Manwaring, the previous zone development officer for Oceania, used to visit Guam often until he recently fell ill, Lupola said.

"(Basketball) is the game I've been playing all my life," Calic said. "It's the game I love."

Calic said the No. 1 reason he loves the game is because basketball teaches one about life.

"My priority is personal development of my players -- I install good human qualities in them. The secondary priority is improving their skills in basketball."

While most people mention medals or championships as their greatest achievement, Calic said that he considers passing on his knowledge and passion of the game and human values to his players to be his top accomplishment.

"Seeing them blossom into human beings (is) the most rewarding to me as a coach."

Lupola said the main purpose of Calic's visit was to help Guam's youth national teams prepare for the Oceania tournament in New Zealand this October. The clinic, however, is a bonus that the island's basketball community can and should take advantage of, she said.

Following the Guam visit, Calic will be traveling to other Pacific countries to help with similar undertakings before returning to Guam in November to once again conduct clinics. He will also be stopping in New Zealand to observe the Guam national teams and the youth tournament.

Though Calic now calls Australia home, he said that he spends nine months of the year traveling around the world for FIBA. This, Calic added, is good and symbolic since basketball is now such a global game.

"I like to make an impact wherever I (go)," said Calic. "I will be happy if in three or five years I come back and find I've helped (Guam basketball)."

Calic extended thanks to the basketball community on Guam for its hospitality and warm reception, especially to Tony Thompson, John Calvo, Lupola, and Bob Pelkey.

"Their welcome gave me optimism for future visits."


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