NEWPORT–Anthony Bathalon is ready to make the next step in his basketball career; Teacher.
The former high school standout, who also dabbled in semi-pro ball as a practice player with the Frost Heaves as well as playing with the Little Rock Lightning of the ABA, has decided to switch his playing kicks for a set of coaches shoes and a whistle.
"I will be bringing my experiences of playing at these higher levels to this camp. You can make a team if you can dribble, if you can shoot, great, but what I have seen is that coaches are looking to see what you can do with the basketball and what you can create on the floor to better the team. That is what I want to teach these kids."
Being an instructor is not completely new to Bathalon, as he has worked at summer basketball camps at Johnson State College, but now he will be the man laying out the lesson plan.
He first decided to teach kids in this area while coaching his AAU team the Defenders.
"I was seeing situations where kids were not at the appropriate skill level for their age group," he said. "For example, if they can't dribble with two hands by a certain age, they really aren't learning what they need to know in order to succeed."
He has been giving private tutorials over the last couple of months, and this weekend will be the first big camp for his new organization that he is partners with Josh Carey in named "I'm Ready Skills Training."
"The goal of our company is skills development for athletes of all ages," said Bathalon on the program's motto.
This weekend's camp will last for four days and three nights, featuring training for primarily shooting and point guards.
The campers go through a variety of basketball work-outs, as well as strength and conditioning sessions.
"I really want to develop the player's vision on the court, where they are supposed to be, how they are supposed talk and how hard they will have to work once they get back to their regular teams."
On Thursday afternoon, while getting ready for the arrival of his other campers, Tony was at the Municipal Building, home of the camps work-outs, with two of his current students, Chris Clowery from Derby Line and Thalia Thomas from Craftsbury.
Thomas will be a junior at Craftsbury Academy while Clowery is heading into his freshman year at North Country.
Both students have been working with the program for over a month and have noticed their abilities’ progression.
"I have seen my all around skills getting better, especially my dribbling and my strength," said Clowery. "All the drills he has us do have to do with strength and my defense and shooting have definitely improved."
Said Thomas, "I have really learned how to control my dribble and control my body when I am out there playing, and my all around skills have gotten better too."
The players are just as excited about this weekend's camp as their coach is to be teaching it.
Bathalon commented on the feeling of satisfaction he gets from coaching these kids now that his playing days are over.
"It is extremely fun. It is good to see the talent that you are going to see in the future, and just being able to work with kids knowing that some of them have the potential to play at the college level, and maybe even higher."
The next scheduled clinic will be August 18th at IROC, so if you are interested in working with Bathalon and the I'm Ready Skills Training Program, you can contact him at