Seventy-seven girls attended the annual basketball camp at Seymour Middle School this week to work on their skills.
The campers were divided into three groups: Kindergarten through third grade, grades 4 through 6 and grades 7 and 8.
“We do a lot of different stations,” Owls varsity head coach Jason Longmeier said. “We do some obstacle course things … anything where we can maximize their movement and get them moving a lot. Anything like that, they enjoy. Some of it isn’t even basketball stuff. It’s just getting them in here and getting them to enjoy the game. The drills we do work on with them are ball handling drills, shooting drills and things like that. We do a lot of different things with obstacle courses and things like that, as well.”
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Camper Kendall Sterling, who is entering eighth grade, said it was her fourth or fifth year attending the camp.
She plays guard on her school team and is a post player with her AAU team, and she has been working to improve dribbling with her left hand.
“I enjoy the competition, and I enjoy making new friends and just the sport all-around,” she said. “We’ve been working on ball handling, we did layups and shooting and at the end, we did scrimmaging for the competition part.”
Longmeier said as the girls advance to an older group, the drills get harder.
“We just continue to progress. As we get into our seventh and eighth graders, we’ll put them through some stations, and then we play,” he said. “We get a lot of up and down. We talk to them and kind of teach them our terminology a little bit and teach them how we expect our post players to play and our guards to play. So as we get into the seventh and eighth camp, we try to run that more like a varsity practice.
“The more they get used to us and our terminology and how we want things done, the better, and I think that’s the way they would want things done anyway. They would want to come in here and get a few drills done and get up and down the court. We get a lot of movement with them.”
Camper London Williams, who is going into third grade, said this is her third year attending the camp.
“I’ve improved my shooting and dribbling and ball handling. My favorite part is shooting,” she said. “I also go to volleyball camp, and I play softball.”
Longmeier feels it’s important to get kids active in multiple sports at an early age.
“I think anymore, these kids have so many options, and I think we’re getting to the point that we’re having so many kids just focusing on one sport that I think it’s important that they get acclimated to the sports early on,” he said. “I think we really do them a disservice by not allowing them to be multisport athletes and encourage them to do that. Something we talk to our high school kids about is to compete in multiple sports and learn how to compete and be an athlete.”
Camper Emmy Munson, an incoming sixth grader, said she has been going to the camp every year since since kindergarten.
“I’ve been playing basketball most of my life,” she said. “I play for an AAU team called the Southern Indiana Shock. I don’t care where I play. I just want to be on the floor. I enjoy everything about basketball, the people I play with, just the sport itself.”
Longmeier said Amber Williams and Nathan Owen have been a big help assisting with the camp.