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TSN analyst and Raptors announcer hosts basketball camp for County Clippers

Clippers-Coach-Jack-ArmstrongThe raspy Brooklyn voice of TSN analyst and Toronto Raptors announcer Jack Armstrong rang out in the PECI gymnasium Friday as he coached Prince Edward County Clippers youth on the game, and conduct on and off the court.

Basketball players of all ages attending the camp day organized by Clippers founder Rob Garden were were coached in skills, the value of teamwork, training and a positive approach to every day life.

The importance of first impressions, saying thank you for support from family, friends, teachers, coaches and teammates and knowing that you never know what you have until you don’t have it anymore were the key factors of his talk post on-court skills training.

Clippers-Jack-Armstrong-talk

“First impressions are lasting. You don’t get a second chance to make the right first impression,” he told the group and parents, unfolding a tale of baseball great Joe DiMaggio (the Michael Jordan or LeBron James of his era in the 40s) deciding to play on the field instead of resting up for next big series, to earn the spectators’ respect – especially those seeing him for the first time, perhaps the only time, as few had televisions in 1949.

Speaking from the perspective of a scout who travels from place to place watching for players to offer scholarships that could equate to $300,000 over years of school, he said again, “First impressions are lasting. They see somebody who won’t listen to the coach, or won’t run back or are dis-respectful. Boom, they’re scratched right off the list. They had one shot. It’s gone. So make that first impression count.”

He also impressed upon the group to “make sure you tell the special people in your life how much you appreciate them.”

“When I speak, and I get asked all the time, ‘Who’s your hero?’ I’ve got one,” said Armstrong, admitting he always breaks down a bit when the subject comes up. “My mother. She’s 89-years-old right now and I call her every single day in New York to let her know I love her. I had everything in my life because of her… Each and every one of you has so many great people in your life – your parents, your grandparents, your aunts, your uncles, your coaches – really special people. How often do you say thank you? How often do you let them know you love them? Let them know. That stuff’s really important.”

“You never know what you have, until you don’t have it.”

He followed with a question period and a photograph with his new-found fans.

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