Former Michigan basketball player Spike Albrecht helps children during coronavirus crisis

Albrecht uses basketball experience to help children improve

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Michigan basketball fans love Spike Albrecht. You’ll remember he was the freshman who scored 17 points in the first half of the 2013 National Championship game. He went on to have a four-year career at Michigan, plus one year at Purdue.

In quarantine, Albrecht isn’t sitting around. He’s using his college basketball experience to help kids get better.

“I probably have the worst setup of anyone,” Albrecht said of his parent’s garage in their Indiana house. “About a half hour before (the clinic), we move these ladders and brooms and throw them outside. We move the bikes and lawn mower, and right in the middle is where we do it mostly.”

Four days a week, Albrecht and his sister, Hannah, have been hosting basketball clinics on Zoom. It started small with kids Albrecht coaches at a prep school in Massachusetts. Word spread and the popularity grew.

“The first one we did was like 30 kids, then 40, then 50, and I was like, 'Holy crap,’” Albrecht said. “I had that Zoom account -- I only could get a 100 on there. I had to upgrade so I could have 500 now.”

The workouts last 45-50 minutes. Sundays and Wednesdays are reserved for smaller kids. Tuesdays and Thursdays are for more advanced players. Albrecht demonstrates, then watches, then gives feedback.

The players never know who will drop in. Albrecht has started calling on his famous NBA friends, and they’ve delivered.

“They can only listen to me for so long. They’ve got to hear from someone else,” Albrecht said. “So far, I’ve had Glen Robinson and Jamal Crawford.”

On Thursday, former Michigan star and current Washington Wizard Moe Wagner showed up and gave the kids some advice.

“Don’t let anyone dictate your life and tell you you can’t do anything,” Wagner said from his D.C. apartment. “Believe in yourself and work hard at it, whether that is basketball or whatever you do.”

Albrecht said he’s really been enjoying it and he hopes the kids are, too. He said there’s a lesson even in quarantine.

“Right now is a great time for players -- it’s a great opportunity,” he said. “This is a time to really separate yourself.”

He said you don’t need a fancy gym or even a basketball hoop to improve your game.

Albrecht said the sessions are free. Some people have given him donations to cover the cost of the Zoom. For more information, contact him at spike2315@yahoo.com

He said the players should expect more Michigan stars to drop in in future clinics.

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