Expert instruction from a veteran coach, solid discipline and character building is what parents can expect from the $35 registration fee they pay to enroll their child in the town-sponsored Fundamentals Basketball Academy.
The academy will be held from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., Oct. 8 to Oct. 11 in Wilson Dome and is open to boys and girls in the third through eighth grades.
Former Paradise Valley High School boys basketball coach Bill Farrell will head the academy with assistance from some of the PHS varsity players.
Farrell is a highly respected retired coach who says he hosts the camps, “to get my basketball fix.”
Which means that although he’s turned over the coaching reins to others, he still loves the game and gets a thrill out of teaching it.
Arizona Republic sports reporter Richard Obert recently celebrated his 30th anniversary of covering high school athletics by naming the 30 coaches and officials he believed had the greatest impact on high school sports.
Farrell came in at No. 14 on the list.
He was the state’s boys basketball coach of the year in 1995 and 1997 and has won numerous regional coach of the year honors.
At Paradise Valley High School, Farrell’s teams won two titles in three seasons in 4A, taking the 1995 and 1997 championships. The 1997 team finished 29-2 while the 1995 team went 29-4.
During his prep career, he coached three high school All-Americans and a state player of the year.
On Dec. 2, 2005, the Paradise Valley High School gymnasium was renamed in honor of Farrell.
While on the subject of Farrell, the Rim Country must be a haven for retired basketball coaches.
Farrell is one of three former hoop coaches to have retreated to the Rim Country once they hung up their whistles.
Former Scottsdale Coronado head coach Herb Sherman also lives here, as does ex-Tempe High coach Troy Neal.
Oh yes, there’s a former football coach who also now calls Payson home — Gary Campbell, who won six coach of the year honors during his 34-year career at Norco High School in California.
Lending a hand
The good news on former Little League coach Eddie Duran is that his condition is improving from a stroke he suffered more than a week ago. Friends say he is in rehabilitation and his improvement is expected to continue.
With the stroke, Duran’s many friends are stepping up to provide financial help to pay medical expenses.
To assist, the friends have scheduled a benefit barbecue, camp-style dinner prepared by Clayton Randall. It will be beef, cowboy beans and all the fixings. Because Randall is considered one of the finest camp cooks in the Rim Country, the meal is virtually guaranteed to a scrumptious.
The dinner will be served for donations. The benefit is set for 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3 at Payson Concrete.
Benefit organizers have also scheduled several raffles including one that has as a prize a full Angus beef, cut, prepared and freezer-ready.
Friends of Eddie’s have also donated seven rifles, which will be raffled.
Tickets for the beef and rifles will be sold for $20 each or six for $100.
Also, organizers received an envelope donation containing $1,000 in cash, which will be raffled. Tickets for that raffle are $50 each.
Raffle tickets may be purchased at Bud’s Plumbing, Payson Concrete, NAPA Auto and Semstream.
Eddie and his wife, Ellen, have three sons.