Shock seeing success on court

Since 2003, St. Thomas Shock Basketball has been providing St. Thomas youth with the best fundamental and skill-developing basketball program around. They have done this by providing both a development and competitive program that offers basketball to all youth, from beginner to advanced.

Shock Basketball is a not-for-profit organization that relies on volunteer coaches and high school students to teach today’s youth the fundamentals, basic skills and knowledge of the game. All volunteers are dedicated to improving basketball in St. Thomas and surrounding area.

The development program is based on an 8-week clinic for boys and girls in grades 2 to 8. The clinics run from October to December on Friday nights and Saturday mornings for an hour and a half for each age group (groups are based on Ontario Basketball classifications).

Each participant receives a basketball, t-shirt and many other prizes throughout the 8 weeks. FUN is the fundamental word that the clinics are based on and each week a basic skill involved in the game of basketball is taught. Using a combination of drills, scrimmages and games, the coaches teach and review fundamental basketball skills. All that is required from the participants is a clean pair of running shoes and a desire to learn and have fun!

The competitive side of the program is built around the clinics, as travel teams are developed using tryouts from the participants who attend the clinics. The travel season runs from October to April depending on the age group and number of tournaments that each team decides to attend. St. Thomas Shock believes that practicing twice as much as you play, even at the competitive level, allows for youth to develop basic skills and a team concept at a quicker rate.

Exhibition games and tournaments are scheduled throughout the season and practices can run from once a week to twice a week depending on the age group. Travel teams are coached by volunteer coaches who must attend Coaching Clinics in order to attain the level that is required by the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) in accordance with the Coaches Association of Canada and Ontario Basketball Association.

The Shock currently has six travel teams. The main focus is not winning, but to continue the development of the fundamental basic skills and increase the knowledge of the game of basketball to youth in order to enhance their love for the game.

While winning is not the primary focus, the players have had great success over the last four or five years, bringing home eight Ontario Basketball championship gold medals and three silver medals at various age groups. The program’s main goal on the competitive side is to make high school basketball in Elgin County as strong as it can be to compete at the TVDSB level and also the provincial level.

St. Thomas Shock is a proud supporter of PGC Basketball, and many of our beliefs are built around this program. PGC Basketball ( was founded by Dick DeVenzio, one of the top 50 Duke basketball players of all time, and is now run by Owner/President Mano Watsa. Shock President Rhonda Dawdy had an opportunity to meet Rick Torbett, the founder of Better Basketball ( and the Read & React offence. Since that meeting, they have implemented the Read & React system throughout their competitive teams.

The partnership with PGC Basketball and Better Basketball allows the club to continue to offer that high level basketball experience and learning, as well as maintain the fun side of an amazing sport that is reaching its peak in Canada.

– Story submitted by St. Thomas Shock Basketball