VOORHEESVILLE: Birds help next generation

"(The parents) were a little skeptical at first, but we really proved ourselves," said Massaroni.

"We were told that one of our parents had to be there for practices, and we were discouraged at first," added Schultz. "But our parents just sat there and let us do our thing."

The drills may have paid too much of a dividend for the Jazz, though. The team has been so dominant that Belenchia, Massaroni and Schultz have to tell their young players not to steal the ball and to pass it around five times before shooting once the score becomes one-sided " something that happens frequently.

"It's kind of hard to tell 8-year-old kids not to score or not to steal," said Belenchia. "They don't always listen, but they try really hard."

Ultimately, the teen coaching trio hope to instill the same love of basketball in their young players that they have.

"In the beginning of the year, we asked them what their favorite sport was, and they said soccer. We said we're going to change that," said Belenchia. "I don't think they have to pick a sport at their age, but we're hoping that they will continue to play basketball.""

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