STADIUM34 was buzzing with excitement as NBL superstar Mitch Creek hosted a Wolf Pack Hoops basketball clinic for junior athletes from all over Gippsland on Sunday, February 4.

Creek, renowned for his skill and charisma on the court for the South East Melbourne Phoenix, brought his expertise to the local community, offering invaluable insights and hands-on training to participants.

Attendees in Moe were treated to comprehensive and interactive sessions on the fundamental skills that will make them great basketballers.

“We are incredibly grateful to Mitch Creek for his will to foster the next generation of basketball talent,” STADIUM34 Manager, Matt Beatson said.

“His willingness to give back to country communities and share his knowledge, while still juggling his commitments to the NBL season, is just awesome.”

Beatson got in touch with Creek directly in December last year, and in the meantime, the two planned the idea for the pro to run clinics in Moe.

STADIUM34 is slowly starting to build its basketball program, and believed having the big name of Creek would entice a lot of kids to come and try. And boy, they were right.

Beatson noticed Creek recently ran clinics in regional areas, and thought he may as well pull the trigger and see what happens.

Creek ran three clinics, two for juniors which lasted an hour each, and one for older kids which was a little more extensive, running for about 90 minutes.

Repeat after me: Mitch Creek running young basketballers through their paces in Moe. Photograph supplied

Creek is a big advocate for regional communities, and spawning local interest and talents outside of the metropolitan areas.

When the South East Melbourne Phoenix were preparing to play in Traralgon last December, Creek had a lot of praise for the outer regions.

“I believe that we actually make a conscious effort to go into the communities that some people might deem to be a little to hard or too far, we’ll go and have meet-and-greets, we’ll sign autographs, we’ll take photos, we’ll interact with the communities because we feel it’s so important,” he said.

“Maybe (the) NBA is a dream for a lot of kids, maybe it isn’t, but hopefully now it is because they’ve seen a Horsham boy who grew up on a farm, used to ride to school every day, used to go to the creek after school and make bike jumps with his mates has now played in the NBA playing (against) Giannis Antetokounmpo,” Creek said at a Kosciuszko Street Traralgon Primary School clinic last year.

Along for the ride was new Gippsland United import, Jalin Wimberly, who joined in for the day and helped Creek run the clinic.

Along for the ride: Gippsland United import Jalin Wimberly (left) and Gippsland United men’s coach Scott McKenzie (right) came to the clinics, ran by Mitch Creek. Photograph supplied

“That was my first time meeting (Mitch Creek) at his camp. He was very idolising to me watching him go through various skills for the kids to work on for their game,” Wimberly said.

“He taught me to be a leader and be a mentor to the kids to have someone they can look up to.”

Wimberly has taken Creek’s advice, and learnt skills from him, which may be put to use one day when he eventually runs his own camp.

For many attendees, the highlight of the day was the opportunity to interact directly with Creek, asking questions, seeking advice, and even snapping photos with the basketball icon.

His down-to-earth demeanour and genuine passion for the sport left a lasting impression on everyone in attendance, reinforcing the notion that with hard work and determination, anything is possible.