Pro basketball player Adam Sollazzo is taking his knowledge of the game to the hardwood this summer when he hosts local basketball clinics at Seffner Christian.
The former Armwood Hawk, who graduated in 2008, has had a decorated basketball career so far. In his high school career he won Hillsborough County Player of the Year, Student Athlete of the Year, and the North vs. South Florida All Star game MVP.
He then went on to play Division 1 college basketball at East Tennessee State University. In his first two seasons they won back-to-back Atlantic Sun Titles, and went on to play in two NCAA tournaments vs future NBA All-Stars such as John Wall of the Washington Wizards, Demarcus Cousins of the New Orleans Pelicans, and Eric Bledsoe of the Milwaukee Bucks. His senior year he made 1st Team All-Conference and was named the National Scholar Athlete for all sports in Division 1.
After having some NBA workouts after college with the Atlanta Hawks and New York Knicks, he has spent the last seven years playing in countries such as Romania, Germany, Italy and Argentina. He spent last season in Orzinuovi, Italy, and he expects to be back in Italy next season.
Every summer he comes back to the Tampa/Brandon area and hosts basketball camps and clinics. This will be his sixth annual Adam Sollazzo ‘Rising Stars’ clinic. “I love being able to help the local kids improve their skills and show them it is possible to reach their dreams,” said Sollazzo.
According to Sollazzo, you can expect an hour and a half of non-stop drills and learning. They break the kids up by age/skill level into groups and then rotate through multiple 10-15 minute stations that vary from every skill, such as dribbling, fundamentals, attacking the rim, proper use of pick & roll, shooting, defense and strength building. The coaches of the stations are all very experienced basketball players. “We try to pass on as much knowledge as we can,” said Sollazzo. “We also provide the kids with a take-home workout plan that gives them different drills that they can use on their own throughout the summer.”
In the last part of clinic they do fun drills, such as free throw competitions and skills obstacle courses. “At the end of clinic I like to sit the kids down and talk to them about life outside of basketball such as the importance of school,” said Sollazzo. “Both of my parents are teachers, so I was brought up knowing that school came before basketball. I really try to instill in the kids that good work ethic is important in all aspects of life and not just basketball.”
This year they are also having a raffle for a signed jersey from Sollazzo’s past professional season in Italy. The more clinics the kids attend, the more chances they have of winning the jersey. Clinics will be every Monday from 5:30 to7 p.m. at Seffner Christian Academy through July 30.