LaRicca finds ways to continue coaching

By Greg Gulas


Does a coach ever really retire, even after he’s officially hung up his whistle and walked away from the game that’s been in his DNA for what seems like forever?

If you’re former Western Reserve and Warren Harding High School basketball coach Bob LaRicca, you simply continue doing what you love and that’s teaching the game to those currently coming up through the ranks.

While addressing the Curbstone Coaches during their weekly Monday session at Lucianno’s Restaurant, LaRicca said that he is having the time of his life imparting his knowledge and wisdom about the game that he so loves to area youths at his Trumbull Basketball School.

Now in its seventh year, the school keeps busy almost year-round with two, five-week sessions in both the fall and spring, and a three-day Christmas Camp that coincides with holiday break.

“The goal is to teach our young players about the game of basketball. Terminology is important and while coaches might use different terminology, we’re all in the same ballpark so it’s important to learn and understand that aspect of the game,” LaRicca said. “It’s strictly fundamentals that we go over and cover, in-depth so everyone can get a good grasp of their importance. We’ll also cover ball-handling and shooting, but never play a game as we’re simply trying to teach them, not place them in a competitive arena just yet.”

The school’s fall and spring sessions, designed for both boys and girls in grades 4-8, are held once a week, two-hours in duration for a total of 10 instruction hours.

The Christmas Camp, also an instruction session, takes up a three-hour block and is held over a three-day period.

“We have two sets of lessons, the first of which is the team concept and the second our fundamentals session,” LaRicca said. “We’ll go over situations that occur during a game, such as out-of-bounds terminology, how to run an offense, set a screen and anything and everything that might come up over the course of a game in a team setting.”

The younger the camper, the more extensive an explanation they can expect from LaRicca, who is an advocate of lowering the hoops in order for them to get accustomed to the game and its many rules.

“We’re trying to teach them the game, yet the hoops are too high and they are struggling, especially the younger campers, to get the ball to the rim when they shoot,” he said. “In baseball, the fields are adjusted and constructed according to age. With basketball, there’s one size and that’s just too tough for a beginner to handle. We drop the hoops and shorten the court so they can succeed correctly. If not, then it’s a recipe for failure.”

Over the summer, LaRicca also held two sessions that attracted 90 campers and along with former assistant coach, Vic Binben, he is currently holding an elementary fundamentals program at Blessed Sacrament in Warren.

“I was overwhelmed and absolutely pleased with our summer numbers, as well as the turnout that we have had for our elementary program,” LaRicca said.

Further information can be obtained by visiting their Facebook page, Trumbull Basketball School, by calling 330-307-9345 or e-mailing LaRicca at

Next week, Vindicator Sports Editor Ed Puskas will serve as guest speaker during their special night-time meeting, which begins at 6 p.m.