Seymour hosts camp series to teach fundamentals


Claire Marshall can remember having a small basketball goal in the house when she was younger.

She and her brother, Owen, would play together on the goal.

“I’ve played basketball ever since I could walk,” she said.

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That may be why one might find Marshall — along with many other players — at Seymour High School the past few weeks during the Seymour High School girls basketball camp.

The camp has offered two sessions per week through the end of April, with a total of 12 sessions. The first session on Tuesday and Thursday nights is for grades 3 through 5, and the second is for grades 6 through 8.

Coaches and players in the program have helped put on the camp by offering skills tests in shooting, dribbling, defense and other fundamentals.

The camp is free and aims to build relationships with future players and build on fundamentals, Owls varsity coach Jason Longmeier said.

“The key is to get these kids in and start building relationships with them at younger ages and get them involved with what it is we’re trying to do,” he said. “That’s the No. 1 thing, and if we learn something along the way, that’s great.”

Marshall said she thought the camp did teach participants useful things to do at home to get better outside of regular practices.

“I think it’s a great way to learn new skills and practice the ones you already know,” she said. “It’s always good to practice outside of school and scheduled practices. It’s also really fun to meet new people that you will be playing with in high school.”

The program has hosted camps before, but not with this many sessions or information. Longmeier said he’d like to put together information packets and DVDs in the future for players to take home and work on.

“We’ve had anywhere from 75 to 93,” Longmeier said. “We’ve really made an effort to get down to our youth level and build relationships with these kids.”

Getting to know the youth and potential basketball players is important for the program because it can help build a relationship of trust and familiarity.

“I think in order for us to make sure when they get to us, they trust us, and they know what it is we expect from them when they get here,” Longmeier said. “It’s not just a four-year relationship we’re trying to build.”

The more relationships they build, the more the players understand what is expected of them, Longmeier said.

“They know what we expect from them and what it takes from them to be a very high quality 4A basketball program,” he said.

Knowing what is expected of her, Marshall said the camp is helpful and she has a few new drills to work at home and she plans to put in a lot of practice.

“You can never get enough practice, no matter what sport it is,” she said. “I also learned some new things that will help me in the future.”

Longmeier said he and other staff, along with players in the program, have stressed the importance of fundamentals. He said he has noticed the program’s need to address fundamentals over the last few seasons.

“Our fundamentals have to get better, and we realized that,” he said. “We’ve had really good varsity basketball teams, but our fundamentals haven’t been where they’re supposed to be.”

One of the fundamentals that many may not realize is the footwork used in the game. Footwork is important for all facets of the game and with good footwork comes good basketball, which can increase a player’s confidence, he said.

“Footwork is so essential,” he said. “With good footwork and shooting comes confidence, and our goal is by the time they walk out of here in a couple weeks, they have a lot of confidence.”

All of that work is aimed to help develop a leading program locally and Marshall said she wants to be part of a program like that.

“Playing high school basketball has always been a goal of mine,” she said. “I definitely will use the skills I’ve learned and practice them at my house to use them in the future.”

An attitude like that has to be music to the coach’s ears.

“We want to make this the best program in the community,” Longmeier said.

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There’s still time to take advantage of the Seymour High School girls basketball camp.

Sessions are free and run from 6 to 8 p.m.

Grade three through five participate from 6 to 7 p.m. and grades six through eight participate from 7 to 8:15 p.m.

Sessions are held in Seymour High School’s Lloyd E. Scott Gymnasium and are scheduled for:

April 5; 10; 12; 17; 19; 24; 26


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