DALLAS -- On Monday, the Dallas Mavericks got to know a little bit more about some of their fans.
The Mavs hosted a workshop -- named Basketball 101 -- at American Airlines Center for over 200 women. And by all accounts, the workshop was a smashing success.
"This is a cross section of our fans,'' general manager Donnie Nelson said. "It’s the Al- American moms,
grandmas and daughters.
"It's really a cool mother-daughter opportunity and event to come and to get kind of see the secrets that you normally don’t see. They see the locker room, the practice court, and the war room
The women were sent to eight different stations and spent eight minutes at each station. Nelson spoke about the franchise, coach Rick Carlisle talked about his team, assistant coach Monte Mathis lectured the women on defense, and assistant coach Jim O'Brien discussed offensive strategies.
Also, player development coach Tony Brown discussed the insights of his job, while guard Dahntay Jones and rookie center Bernard James shared their expertise while in the Mavs' locker room. In addition, head athletic trainer Casey Smith and assistant trainer Dionne Calhoun shared two stations -- one on the weight room and another concerning strength and conditioning.
Amanda Billings, a 29-year old nurse from Dallas, attended her sixth Mavs' workshop Monday. And she's getting more knowledgable with each trip.
"We just love coming here because it’s always so much fun and they teach a lot,'' Billings said. "In the past they had referee stations and they always gave us inside tips about it's not always about what you see.
"Everyone was like why do certain players not get calls and some players do? And they were like people want to see a good game, and if you’re a big man we’re not always going to call every little thing on them.''
Billings was delighted to meet Casey, who has won two gold medals while being on the medical staff for the USA during the past two Olympics.
"He’s fantastic and he knows so much, and it’s real cool since he was the trainer for the Olympic team,'' Billings said. "I’m a nurse and I told him if you ever need a nurse I’m more than
happy to come help you out. He’s a really cool guy.''
The Mavs have held one of these workshops for 12 years. And Nelson has attended all 12.
"It's unique, especially for us, because we don’t have a chance to really bond like this a lot,'' Nelson said. "We live in a little bubble where the fans are up there.
"We have a chance to engage in 200 women, and its been neat.''
-- Dwain Price
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