Crothersville hosting youth basketball camp



Over these summer months, the youth are putting in the work on the basketball courts at Crothersville Junior-Senior High School.

Second- through fifth-grade athletes have been meeting twice a week to work on their skills and prepare for their upcoming seasons.

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Crothersville elementary coach John Riley has led the sessions, teaching the kids the basics of the game while also implementing key principles in the Tigers’ program.

“We work on all of the fundamentals,” Riley said. “The younger kids, they’re not strong enough to shoot with good form. It’s all about ball-handling and layups. With the older kids, it’s about fundamental defense and ball-handling. As they get into third and fourth grade, you work on more shooting.

“If you’re going to have success in the wintertime, you’re going to be playing in the summertime. The work makes the difference.”

On average, around 20 kids attend the camp.

Riley said they have brought the camp back after stepping away for a brief time.

“We did it several years ago,” he said. “If you don’t really have a parent that’s highly involved, it kind of slips through the cracks. Everyone is busy, which is understandable, so there isn’t always someone who can do it. Right now, we’re blessed at the elementary level because we have a lot of parents that are involved.”

This time around, Riley has made some changes to the camp.

“Something we’re doing different this time than the last time I was involved is that we are running the same offensive sets from the third grade to varsity,” Riley said. “The elementary, junior high and varsity are all running the same offensive sets. We’ve never done that before. Junior high and varsity hadn’t run the same sets before. Now, everyone is on the same plan.”

Fourth-grader Jude Howard said he has been working hard at the camps.

“I only play for Crothersville,” he said. “I like having fun and being with my friends. Basketball has always been my favorite sport. We get to work and stuff. None of us are being lazy. Coach Riley is the best coach I’ve ever had. He has taught us so much, and I’ve had him for who knows how many years.”

Third-grader Carter Jones said he likes doing the drills and playing games.

“I like to have fun,” Jones said. “You get to shoot the ball and dribble. I work on ball-handling, shooting, shooting free throws and running. I want to get a lot better at shooting because I miss a lot of free throws.”

Riley said the players will be broken up into a second- and third-grade team and fourth- and fifth-grade team. The fourth-fifth group with play in an early travel winter league before the regular season.

“It’s great physical exercise, and it’s Hoosier Hysteria. There’s no better place to play basketball than in Indiana,” he said. “It also teaches discipline, teamwork, sportsmanship. There’s nothing negative about having these kids play sports. It teaches kids how to be successful and work as a team, basically everything you need to succeed in life. I had some great teachers when I was in school, but I think the lessons I learned most was from my coaches.”

Riley said those interested can still sign up for the camp, which goes Monday and Thursday evenings, until it concludes in the end of July. For information, email [email protected].

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