Tech boys basketball coach Marvin Avery has one state title and three appearances in the state final on his coaching resume. He’s sent players on to major college basketball, notably former Memphis star Antonio Anderson who will be playing pro basketball in Canada this season.
Classical alumna Helen Ridley scored 52 points in one high school game as a sophomore, played four years of Division 1 college basketball at Quinnipiac, and later coached women’s basketball at her alma mater.
The two basketball greats are teaming up for the first time at the Avery-Ridley girls fall basketball workout clinic that begins Monday (October 15) at the Tech Fieldhouse.
Jim Ridley, former principal at Lynn Tech and a key mentor to Avery who in fact sat on the selection committee that chose Avery for the Tech head coaching job, returns to the staff.
While Avery and his 2002 state title team are slated to be inducted into the Tech Hall of Fame in November, he has also made his mark in girls basketball as the highly respected coach for the Massachusetts Thundercats AAU team. He has 257 coaching victories at Tech in 13 seasons, a phenomenal average of roughly 20 wins per season.
Avery said it was Jim Ridley who recruited him for an AAU girls basketball coaching position. One of Avery’s top players on his first AAU team was budding high school star Helen Ridley.
“Turn the clock ahead 14 years and here we are doing a basketball clinic together,” said Avery. “I couldn’t ask for a better person to help me out with this basketball clinic. Helen will pass on her experience as a college player and coach to the players in our clinic.”
Helen Ridley left the Quinnipiac program after last season and she is now teaching physical education at Tech. Though she has been approached about coaching high school basketball this season, she will remain on the sidelines.
“I was looking to get out of coaching and get back to Massachusetts and I decided that I wanted to get into teaching, said Ridley, who holds a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership from Quinnipiac.
Ridley said she wants to focus on working with basketball players from different schools and teams, such as instructing Lynn-area players at the Tech clinic.
“One of my favorite things about coaching is working out with players and the actual coaching part of it,” said Ridley. “I love doing individual skills workouts with players. My goal is to help them become the best basketball players they can be and help them with any questions about the college basketball process.”
Ridley said she is also considering launching a basketball clinic for next summer.
Jim Ridley believes the duo of Marvin Avery and Helen Ridley is tough to beat when it comes to basketball instruction.
“We have the old-school/new school combination,” said Ridley. “Marvin brings his years of coaching experience to the table while Helen offers some of the newer terminology and drills. She can also relate to the girls really well.”
One area of Helen Ridley’s expertise is free throw shooting. In her record-breaking 52-point performance, she hit 22 of 24 free throws. She was also a state finalist in the Red Auerbach Foundation free throw contest, competing at the Boston Garden at halftime of a Boston Celtics game.
Among those expected to attend the Avery-Ridley clinic are outstanding local players including Diondra Woumn and Catherine Stinson of English, Kristin Lauria of Lynn Classical, and Briana Rudolph and Sharrell Sanders of St. Mary’s.
(For more information about the clinic, please call Jim Ridley at 781-690-3221).