UNION CITY – Mississinawa Valley’s high school boys basketball players received instruction from Walsh University assistant men’s basketball coach Jeremy Shardo on Monday and Tuesday at MV.
“I think they did great,” Shardo, a 2007 Versailles High School graduate said. “They came in; they were willing to work hard. That’s one thing I love about kids in this area is they have a blue collar work ethic. They came in, they worked hard, and I think they got a lot better over the last two days.”
The key to improvement in basketball, Shardo said, is focusing on the fundamentals so that’s what he did with the Blackhawks.
“The biggest thing is fundamentals so footwork, finishing, shooting, proper layups,” he said of the focus of the camp. “And as you get older your goal is just to speed up those moves and make them more game speed.”
Shardo worked with the Mississinawa Valley athletes on fundamentals of ball handling, footwork, finishing and shooting during the two-day camp.
“When we started it was kind of a new concept to them, something they haven’t worked on before, but by the end of the drill they all picked up on it, and I thought they all progressed really well,” he said.
Only once the players had the fundamentals down did Shardo have them speed up to game speed.
“I think kids get a little too sped up in the game instead of really focusing on their footwork so we try to slow everything down, break it down as we went,” he said. “Once they got comfortable with the footwork we sped it up.”
Having a new voice come in to instruct the players, especially one who has coached at the collegiate level, was beneficial for the Blackhawks, Mississinawa Valley assistant boys basketball coach Brian Rehmert said.
“For anybody to listen to somebody besides the same old song and dance every day, a new perspective or new ways of doing things, I think it’s always great to mix things up and give them a different opinion, a different side of how to look at it,” Rehmert said.
Shardo also will lead a Walsh University basketball camp next week at Versailles. The three-day camp begins Monday and is open to boys and girls in the third through 12th grades. The camp is broken up into three age groups with each group practicing for two hours each day.
“I’ve got some great workers coming in to help me so I’m really excited about it,” Shardo said.
For more information on the Walsh University camp at Versailles, visit walshbasketballcamps.com/VersaillesSkillsCamp.html or contact Shardo at 937-638-8979 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.