Mike Kaufman - Dunk Champion - MicelinMinutemen.com
Arlington, MA - As part of Micelin Minutemen Basketball's continued community outreach, the organization - in partnership with Arlington Recreation - was proud to present ESPN Slam Dunk Champion Mike Kaufman on Wednesday, July 13, 2016.
Kaufman put on a dunking demonstration inside the Arlington High School gymnasium immediately after the evening's jr. NBA Summer League games and Micelin Minutemen Skills Academy.
Kaufman was a semi-finalist to be the ESPN Dark Horse Dunker in the 2014 college dunk contest while he was a student-athlete at Cambridge's Lesley University. He played professional basketball in Israel in 2015. Kaufman interned for Sidekick Sports Academy - the Minutemen's parent company - as a videographer while a student-athlete at Lesley.
"We were beyond excited to have Mike come in and put on a show for the players in the league and youth in our community. He is a talented individual in so many ways and this was a memorable night for all involved," said Zach Rocha, Sidekick's Executive Director and Co-Founder.
Beginning June 13 and continuing through July 29, the Minutemen’s staff of USA Youth Basketball certified coaches have been providing nightly outdoor clinics and league games in the cities of Arlington and Everett, Massachusetts, working with over 100 youth boys and girls aged 9 - 18.
The league games have also been refereed by these same instructors. Shooting, rebounding, dribbling, passing and defending have been the core of the FUNdamental teaching.
The grades 3 - 7 program has featured 3v3 half-court games. The grades 8 - 10 program has featured 5v5 full-court games.
“We are really enjoying the players and their families. They have taken to our concept of naming the teams after current NBA, NBA D-League and NCAA teams, and some even remember the old ABA teams. No one has grown an afro yet in homage to Dr. J, but it’s still early in the season,” joked Rocha.
The Minutemen will also hold a full-day, week-long clinics indoors in Arlington from July 25 - 28 at Ottoson Middle School. Space is limited to 60 players.
In addition to instilling fun and a work ethic, all players and their families have also been given FREE educational material on healthy eating and injury prevention, in addition to priority access to Boston Children's Hospital and its Micheli Center for Sports Injury Prevention. Information and registration is available at micelinminutemen.com
Mike Kaufman, a New York native, was raised in Boca Raton where he first started playing basketball at age 9. Mike attended American Heritage High School (Delray) where he was selected as a Palm Beach County All Star his senior year and named Third Team All County. After graduating, he went on to play at Lesley University (Cambridge, MA) where he was a 2-year captain. During his time in uniform at Lesley he set two school records, most 3 pointers made in a single game and best single season 3 point percentage at 44.5%. In 2014 he was also a semi-finalist to be the ESPN Dark Horse Dunker in the 2014 college dunk contest. After graduating from Lesley with a business management and psychology degree, Kaufman pursued professional basketball overseas. He played two seasons in the Israel National Basketball League for the Maccabi Hod Hasharon and Elizur Ashkelon. After fulfilling his dream of playing professional basketball he came back to the US to pursue coaching. Mike has worked for Step It Up Basketball Camp in both the US and Israel prior, as well as Ball By Design Hoops. Mike’s passion for the game and work ethic make him an excellent role model for today’s basketball generation. Beyond his basketball skills Coach Mike is also passionate about video editing, even starting his own brand, 511 Productions. Check out his Instagram (@511Prod) for samples of his work.
Micelin Minutemen Basketball is a professional basketball organization, specializing in education and community development. Centrally located in Greater Boston, Massachusetts, the Minutemen also run specialized player clinics, coaching education clinics, private training, an AAU club and a wellness program for children with special needs and adults with disabilities. Micelin Minutemen Basketball is a division of Sidekick Sports Academy.