Friday, 18 September 2020 15:06

Richmond hoops welcome Dr. Dish, boys continue workouts

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The new Dr. Dish training machine in Richmond's gymnasium. The new Dr. Dish training machine in Richmond's gymnasium. Contributed photo.

ROCKINGHAM — There’s a new doctor in town and it’s dishing out some pretty sweet passes to the Richmond Senior High School basketball programs.

The Raiders and Lady Raiders welcomed Dr. Dish to their rosters, an automated rebound and shooting machine that’s taking practice and preparation to a whole other level.

With voluntary workouts for both teams underway, the newest piece of training equipment is creating a buzz for players and coaches.

“It’s very exciting to have this new machine,” Donald Pettigrew, Richmond’s boys’ head basketball coach, said. “We got it on Tuesday and we’ve already been using it this week. This was a much-needed piece to help improve both programs.”

Pettigrew added that the machine was purchased using the Richmond basketball teams’ account, which is funded by concession sales and tournament fundraisers.

Used by college programs like Duke University, the University of North Carolina and the University of Florida, the Dr. Dish machine is helping transform high school basketball. Capable of providing players with over a hundred different pre-set workouts, the piece of equipment focuses on shooting, ball handling, free throws and agility training.

The Dr. Dish training management program will also benefit the teams by recording workout data, as well as individual players’ shooting percentage and personal goals.

“It’s so cool,” Pettigrew chuckled. “The machine collects the shots and kicks the ball right back out to our players. It really makes the speed of workouts faster and the digital voice talks to them while they’re shooting.

“This will help us keep track of everyone’s progress,” he continued. “Repetition is important and this will cut down on the time we spend chasing down rebounds. The kids will be able to put a lot of shots up, and it will improve their speed and how they move around the floor.”

The raised netting of the Dr. Dish machine collects shots that are off the mark and it can hold five basketballs in its chamber. Depending on what drill is being done, the new piece of equipment can distribute a basketball to shooters every four seconds.

Pettigrew said it’s also much more than a glorified rebound machine, noting the teams can use it to help run customized set plays, low-post drills and mid-range shooting drills. An added benefit is that Richmond players can now run personalized workouts after practices with a code that keeps track of their data.

The boys’ basketball team wrapped up another week of workouts on Wednesday, as Pettigrew and the Raiders are meeting Mondays and Wednesdays ahead of the new season. A combination of roughly a dozen varsity and junior varsity players have made an appearance at each session.

While workouts are always important, Pettigrew said the team is using them to help move on from the unexpected death of former player Jalen David.

“It’s very important to be together right now and lean on each other,” Pettigrew said. “It’s hard sometimes being in the gym and knowing (Jalen) won’t be walking through the doors. But the guys are talking about him and remembering him, and it’s our jobs as coaches to help them move forward.

“Jalen’s mom told me the other day it’s time for all of us to get back in the gym,” he closed. “We’ll never forget Jalen, but we just want to get past the hurt of missing him.”

Kyle Pillar

Three-time award-winning sports editor. Indiana University of Pennsylvania communications media and journalism alumni. English teacher, Ninth Grade Academy.

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