VERSAILLES – Walsh University assistant coach Jeremy Shardo led a basketball camp for boys in the third grade through high school this week at his alma mater, Versailles High School.
Sixty boys, half of them from Versailles, attended the three-day camp. Other athletes came from schools including Anna, Bradford, Covington, Fort Loramie, Houston, Marion Local, Minster, Mississinawa Valley and St. Henry.
“I love it,” Shardo, a 2007 graduate of Versailles, said. “We’re just trying to spread the game.”
Campers were split into three sessions, which each lasted two hours a day. The first group included third through fifth graders, the second group was sixth through eighth graders, and the final group was high school players.
With all three groups Shardo, along with Walsh assistant coach Luke Crump and incoming Walsh freshman Andy Burnett of Coldwater, focused on teaching fundamentals including ball handling, shooting, footwork and moving with the ball.
“I think there’s a lot of camps now that do five on five and three on three,” Shardo said. “We’re just happy to teach fundamentals and skills to kids that want to learn.”
To impart the lessons on the campers, Shardo and his assistants utilized the same drills that the Cavaliers, an NCAA Division II team, use.
“We do a lot of fundamentals with our college guys,” Shardo said. “It’s not rocket science. It’s usually basic stuff that we try to stress each day. I think some people think college drills are different than high school, but they’re really not. It’s just a different speed, different level.”
Over the course of the three-day camp, Shardo said he saw a lot of progress, especially from the youngest group.
“When they got here a lot of them couldn’t shoot a proper right- and left-hand layup, and now we’ve seen a lot of progress in them,” he said.
Shardo, a four-year letter winner and three-time NAIA all-American at Walsh, plans to bring the camp back to Versailles again next year.
“The biggest thing I tell the kids is you’ve just got to have fun with it,” Shardo said of the camp. “I think that’s one of the most important things that’s not stressed today is how fun the game is. And just trying to get a little bit better each day is what we try to stress to these kids.”
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.