More than 650 people from 40 states and Canada attended the third annual sports clinic at Kutsher's Country Club in Monticello, N.Y. last week. Even the 50th state was represented, by Dr. Alvin Saake, Chairman of the Department of Health and Physical Education at the University of Hawaii and the coach of that school's most successful basketball team.
This year SPORTS ILLUSTRATED joined A.G. Spalding & Bros, in sponsoring the clinic. I thus had the good luck to meet Dr. Saake, and to ask him his opinion of "clinics" in general and this one in particular. My questions could hardly have hit a more knowing respondent. This was Dr. Saake's third clinic at Monticello. His beginnings in sport were rare. Born in Brooklyn, he was bat boy for the Dodgers while Wilbert Robinson held sway in the '20s. In a progression that might have given even Robbie pause, he went on to earn his Ph.D. in education at New York University. After the war (he was a lieutenant commander in the Navy) Dr. Saake resumed his career in sport and education at the University of Hawaii.
"Partly because of the insular location," he said in answer to my question, "I've attended more clinics than I can remember—not just to keep my hand in but to stay on top of the changes." Doing this, Dr. Saake has also put on clinics himself for the Air Force, in places as far apart as Germany and Japan.
"The way Ben Carnevale [Navy's basketball coach] puts it," he continued, "is that if a clinic's any good it advances sport. You're always looking for just one new idea. If you get it, that has to advance sport. I've got more new ideas from this clinic than any in my experience."
It was good to hear. Perhaps it should have been no surprise. Among those throwing out the ideas at this clinic were the people you see in this picture and a few others you don't, among them Nat Holman, Bill Sharman and Bud Wilkinson.