UNION CITY – Mississinawa Valley boys basketball coach Tim Barga knows a couple days of camp won’t make kids great basketball players, but he hopes they picked up some skills that will help them on that journey.
The Mississinawa Valley boys basketball team hosted a two-day camp last week. The Blackhawks had 18 boys attend the second annual camp.
“Hopefully everything comes together, kids get a little bit better than what they were a few years ago,” Barga said. “Hopefully they just get better and better each year.”
Barga was joined by his assistant coach, Brian Rehmert, in leading the camp. Approximately 10 current high school players helped both days along with Blackhawk alumni Cayden Cox, Dalton Rinderle and Devan Rinderle.
“I think it helps out everybody,” Barga said. “The younger kids they look up to these older kids plus the alumni guys coming in, also. Hopefully it’s all making a difference in this program.”
Barga was thrilled to have some of his former players helping out at the camp as it shows they’re invested in the program and want to see the Blackhawks succeed.
“Those guys done an excellent job while they were here, and I think they want to see the program continue to succeed; that’s the reason they’re coming back here,” he said. “I haven’t seen too many of these guys miss very many games coming to watch.”
The campers can learn a lot from the high school players and alumni, Barga said, but it also is a great opportunity for the high school players to learn. Having to spend time teaching forces them to really concentrate on what they’re doing, which should help them next winter during the high school season.
“It’s going to help them out as much as it’s helping these kids out, I think,” Barga said.
During the two-day camp the Blackhawks focused on teaching fundamentals including ball handling, passing and shooting.
“A lot of them have got bad habits, which all young kids have bad habits,” Barga said. “We’re trying to get them away from a few of those right now.”
Though the kids received guidance on the game, in order to become better players they’ll need to work on their skills at home.
“We can’t make them basketball players in four hours,” Barga said. “They have to go home and work on all these things.”
It’s evident which boys have spent time at home working on their game, Barga said.
“I personally think that kids learn more from home than what they do out at this right here,” he said. “That’s huge. You can tell the kids that are taught by their parents and their older brothers or sisters versus the ones that don’t get a whole lot of help. It really shows up.”
Along with the youth basketball camp, Mississinawa Valley also had a high school boys basketball camp last week and a golf outing fundraiser at which the high school players helped.
“It makes it a full week for these boys,” Barga said.
The golf outing, which included 80 golfers on teams of four, raised money for the Mississinawa Valley boys basketball team. The funds all go back into the program and are used for things such as camp T-shirts and shootouts.
The golf outing was organized by Rehmert. Union City Country Club owners Carlos Benavidez and Jeff Beanblossom also contributed to the outing.
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.