Each summer, the Utah Jazz takes a road trip through Utah, Idaho, Wyoming and Colorado, giving brief basketball workshops to local youth. The June 19 workshop was Carroll’s seventh of that week, but he still managed to lead the basketball clinic with confidence and charisma.
Carroll covered some key lessons with the kids, such as staying focused on the player in possession of the ball, maintaining good ball-handling skills, and team-building. He took the group through several exercises to drive each point home, helping them pay particular attention to working together and putting trust in their teammates.
The exercises were a hit with the participants. One girl remarked that her favorite moment of the workshop was when Carroll had to stand on one leg and shoot baskets from progressively further distances. She added that her favorite exercise was “when we were on teams and running together because we learned that it’s not about whether you win or not it’s just about having fun.”
At the conclusion of the hour-long workshop, the kids had an opportunity to ask Carroll questions about his life and his work. Carroll, who is currently earning a master’s degree in human development and family studies, stressed the importance of academics. He also answered questions about playing for the Utah Jazz, his height and habits on the court, and even his pets. Afterward, he took the time to sign autographs for the eager crowd and pose for pictures.
“I love working with the kids, because anytime you can come back and help kids is a blessing,” he said when asked about the Junior Jazz workshops. “[W]hen I was young I used to want people to come back all the time and help kids, and so this is just giving back.” When asked if he had any role models growing up, Carroll replied, “You know, not really, but you know my dad was a big role model and he always taught me to always give back no matter what, because it’s a blessing if you can do that.”
The Junior Jazz workshop is held once each summer in conjunction with the Utah Jazz and Moab City Recreation. Admission is free and open to youth through high school age.