ARCANUM – The Arcanum High School boys basketball team hosted a youth camp this week, splitting the four-day session between ball handling and shooting fundamentals.
Arcanum had 38 boys in the fourth through sixth grades attend the camp, which focused on ball handling on Monday and Tuesday and then shooting on Wednesday and Thursday.
“We literally stress two days of ball handling and two days of shooting,” Arcanum varsity boys basketball coach Marcus Bixler said. “We don’t waver from that hardly at all. We want to make sure they have some of the fundamental things that we want to see in our program down and that they have some of the terminology and understanding of those things because it’s a very progressive thing for us in the program.”
The fundamentals that the boys learned are starting points for the same techniques used by the Trojans’ high school teams.
“A lot of the stuff with the ball handling is some of the same things we do at the high school level,” Bixler said. “Like I said, our ball handling program is very progressive in nature. It starts with some very simple things and then moves to some complex movements, but we want to introduce that to our younger guys so they have an idea of what that looks like. They spend time working on it, they’re going to be able to do a lot of that stuff by the time they get into the seventh grade.”
To teach the youth the concepts, Arcanum’s high school players helped instruct the camp.
“It’s great when you can get 20 high school kids here to help you out every day,” Bixler said. “I know that means a lot to me, and it definitely means a lot to the little kids because quite honestly they’re not real interested in me sitting up there talking all the time. The interaction with the older kids that they get to see during the school year, it goes a long way.”
The boys showed a lot of progress during the four days of the camp, which will be great in helping them transition to the junior high and high school programs.
“Their focus is really good,” Bixler said. “For four days, two hours a day, sometimes that’s hard to do for fourth, fifth and sixth grade. We try to make sure we continually keep it moving.”
And to make sure the kids stayed focused, Bixler and his staff made sure they had fun.
“That’s what matters,” he said. “If you’re going to come out here in the summer for eight hours you’d better make sure they enjoy it.”
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.