NEW MADISON – The Lady Patriots basketball program under the guidance of Tri-Village athletic director and head varsity girls basketball coach Brad Gray will be holding its inaugural Tri-Village Fundamental Factor, a program that will teach fundamentals to kids in the surrounding communities.
“It’s an idea that I got from Centerville boys basketball coach Brook Cupps,” said Gray. “My kids used to go over there. He has a program ‘Blue Collar Basketball’ and it’s just a skill session thing.”
“I started taking my son and daughter over and I thought that was something we needed in our area. There are not enough kids that are putting enough time in from a fundamental and skill factor. We have a lot of kids in the area who probably play spring basketball at some level but I don’t know how many kids are really putting time in just trying to make themselves a better basketball player.”
“We are opening it up to boys and girls put on by myself and my staff,” continued Gray. “My players are going to be involved. We will have a handful of players that are going to be here helping.”
Coach Gray as with most schools, conducts a summer camp for local boys and girls.
“The one thing we have done here in the past is we’ve had youth camps in the summer and those camps would be four days in a row for two hours or more at a time, then you turn the kids loose and you don’t see them again until the following summer at that four day camp again,” Gray shared. “Whatever you do in those four days, it’s a good four days, but what are the kids doing after that and I don’t know that a ton of them are continuing to work on their game.”
Gray plans to make this an annual event each spring and fall while taking the winters off during basketball season.
“I thought with this concept, having the sessions in the fall and then following that up and doing it in the spring – it’s going to be something that we are going to continue to do. We are always going to do 10 sessions in the fall, we are always going to do 10 sessions in the spring and we are just going to carry that on for hopefully a long time.”
“During the winter we’re not going to do it because most of the kids are already going to be on some kind of team. We’re going to be having practices and doing those things but we wanted to hit the other parts of the year where maybe they weren’t getting as much exposure to skill work.”
Coach Gray stressed the sessions are open to all kids – not just Tri-Village students.
“Hopefully we get a lot of interest in the program and it’s not just a Tri-Village thing. It’s for kids from anywhere, anybody that wants to come and do this. We are going to welcome anybody because obviously we want our Tri-Village kids to get exposed to it but just being a basketball guy and loving the sport the way I love it, I want any kid who wants this opportunity to have it available to them.”
“I have had a lot of people who have helped my own kids,” added Gray. “I have young kids.”
“It’s a way to give back to the game because the game has given me so much and allowing other kids to experience the things that not only did I get to experience, but also what my kids have been able to experience.”
Coach Gray took time to explain how payment for the program works.
“Each kid has an opportunity to purchase a punch card for $100. There are 10 punches on a card so you are paying $10 a session for these punch cards. If you don’t want to buy a punch card, you just want to come by session, you can walk right up the day of and pay $15. These punch cards are transferable and they also will carry from one season to the next.”
“If a kid can only make it to four of the 10 sessions because he has spring baseball or a girl has spring softball or something that prevents them from making it on a certain night, this card will still be good in the fall, so when we come back in the fall and we set up our 10 sessions for the fall, you still have a card that has six sessions or whatever. That card will still be good until it’s completely punched out.”
“If you have a family that has two kids that are going to come to this and you just want to use one card for both kids – when both kids come in we’ll just punch it twice.”
Cards may be purchased at any time during the year.
With pre-registration that runs through Wednesday, April 3, attendees will receive a basketball and a t-shirt.
Reach Gaylen Blosser firstname.lastname@example.org or 937-548-3330