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Torrington PAL basketball camp a rousing success. Continues through Friday, August 16 at the Torrington Middle School.

POSTED August 14, 2019
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

Police Athletic League Basketball Camp-This week, the PAL program is putting on a clinic at the Torrington Middle School that has attracted around 60 campers who learned from local coaches and current THS players about the game they love.

The camps has been run from 8:30-noon each day so far this week and continues through Friday.  

It’s a camp modeled after one that former Raider boys’ basketball coach Tony Turina put on during his time at the helm of the boy’s program.

What can I say about PAL except, wow.

What they have done over the past few years to re-energize the local program has been simply amazing.

Led by Chris Smedick, the former Police Chief of Torrington and aided by a stellar group of officers who are putting their heart and soul into the program, PAL has taken their mission to a new level.

Dean Pergola, a staple in teaching the youth of our community about the game, ran the overall camp with the passion and devotion that has made him so valuable to our city.

Activities took place inside the TMS gym and outside where four portable baskets were set up so that campers could work on every phase of their game, from passing to dribbling to defense and teamwork.

Each morning (the camp ran from 8:30-noon each day) the campers would hear from various coaches including current Raider head coach Eric Gamari, former Gilbert coach Paul Grossman, former THS basketball great Christine Gamari, youth coach Matt Parkhouse and Turina.

Officer Rob Simon, a huge contributor to PAL, spoke with the students one morning about issues they may face in school or at home or in the community.

PAL is so much more than just sports. They are teaching and helping the youth of our community understand the role police play in their communities and breaking down barriers that sometimes exist.

What was equally heartening was how many current and former Raider basketball players who were participating in the teaching of the next generation, including current University of New Haven guard, Brie Pergola, a THS graduate who certainly left her mark on the program during her years.

There is a positive momentum building in this community and camps like these are a huge part of it.

Sports can help build so many things in the next generation and congrats to all who are taking part in making sure the future here is a great one. 

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