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Bob DeVaul Memorial Basketball Clinic welcomes stars from N…

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FAIRMONT — The second annual Bob DeVaul Memorial Basketball Clinic offered children a chance to learn more about basketball, featuring a range of activities and speeches from stars of the National Basketball Association and West Virginia’s collegiate programs.

More than 200 children attended the clinic, filling the East Fairmont High gymnasium with a sea of purple and white T-shirts, the official colors of Alzheimer’s awareness.

Marion County Commissioner Bobby DeVaul, who runs the clinic, founded it in memory of his father who passed away two years ago from Alzheimer’s. “He was heavily involved with the youth,” DeVaul said. “I’m passionate about youth sports too.”

DeVaul said that the program raises money for Alzheimer’s research, and specifically for the Alzheimer’s Association. He did not state how much money was raised at the event that would be donated to Alzheimer’s.

The Marion County Commission allocated $15,000 to fund the clinic.

Preston County resident Barry Weber, who attended the clinic, is the Association’s advocacy ambassador for Preston, Monongalia and Marion counties. He said that the organization works to promote Alzheimer’s awareness on a legislative level, while also funding neurological research surrounding the disease.

Activities at the clinic included a 3-point shoot out contest, a dunk contest, and a youth basketball game. The clinic ended with an opportunity for participating children to get autographs from a number of stars invited to the event.

Former New York Knicks star Larry Johnson spoke at the event, and said that youth clinics offer children a “great start to learn skills” that “you can take home [and] take to your elementary school.”

Ron Everhart, assistant coach for West Virginia University’s men’s basketball, grew up in Fairmont. He attended the clinic and said it was rewarding to return to his roots and give back.

“I mean, guys that I grew up around and haven’t seen for 30 years, I’ve had the chance to meet again,” he said. “It’s been really, really cool.”

Jack Walker is a multimedia journalist for the Times West Virginian. Jack graduated with a bachelor’s in archaeology and a master’s in American studies from Brown University in May 2023, and is originally from the small town of Thurmont, Maryland.

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