NEW MADISON – Girls from Darke, Miami, Montgomery and Preble counties converged on New Madison for Tri-Village’s youth girls basketball camp this week.
Approximately 35 girls in the third through eighth grades participated in the camp, including campers from Covington, Eaton, Miamisburg, Tri-County North, Twin Valley South and Tri-Village.
“We’re excited about that,” Tri-Village varsity girls basketball coach Brad Gray said. “For kids to want to choose our camp to come to when there’s so many options out there it means a lot to us. We certainly don’t take that lightly, and we hope those people feel like their kids got what they wanted to get out of this camp.”
During the camp, which spanned 10 hours over the course of four days, Tri-Village’s staff taught the girls about the fundamentals of basketball including dribbling, passing, shooting and playing defense. Special attention was given to the fundamentals footwork and form on both offense and defense.
“A lot of people think footwork and form just involves shooting, but it involves every aspect of the game,” Gray said. “That’s something we really try to hammer home with kids is to understand proper footwork in everything that they’re doing. Proper form, not just with shooting the ball but your defensive stance form, the way you’re passing the ball, the form in passing the ball … we’re really big into that. So hopefully kids really left here with a better understanding of those things, the footwork and form.”
The youth campers seemed to make good progress by the end of the camp on Thursday, but Gray told them it will take a lot more than just four days to make them strong basketball players.
“There’s only so much you can get if you’re just spending that amount of time,” he said. “Hopefully the kids will continue to do the drills and things that we worked on so they can see significant improvement from now through whenever they start playing basketball next winter. A lot of these kids, kids who are going into seventh and eighth grade, are going to be playing for their school teams, and hopefully they’ve advanced their skill level a little bit to be able to help their school teams. And the younger kids hopefully they can continue to just get better and better so when they are a part of the school team’s their coaches are feeling like the kids are advanced for that age hopefully.”
Gray was assisted throughout the camp by his high school players, who served as instructors during drills and officials during games. In addition to being a learning experience for the young girls, the camp also was a good learning experience for the high school players, Gray said.
“I think it’s an eye-opener for them,” he said. “We always have them run some of the skills and drills, also coach and officiate. I think that gives them maybe a better appreciation of what officials and coaches have to go through when they’re doing those respective jobs.”
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.