Kirk Manns has been busy since he became head boys basketball coach at Seymour High School this spring.
This past week, he directed the annual Seymour Owls boys’ basketball camp.
Over 90 boys attended the camp. Kindergarten through fourth grade worked in the auxiliary gym, and fifth through eighth-graders spent time in the Lloyd E. Scott Gymnasium.
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“We’re trying to teach fundamentals,” Manns said. “We’re trying to make sure that they’re having fun while they’re doing it. We want to make sure our players are involved, and our (high school and middle school) coaches are involved. We’re trying to make sure that they are interested, making sure that they want to play basketball. Especially those younger kids. They need to have a good time, they need to work hard, they need to run, and they need to play.”
Manns said it has been a few years since he ran an elementary basketball camp.
“The turnout has been good. We hope to increase that in a years’ time,” he said. “I think this is the first time this basketball camp has been back in this gymnasium. Traditionally, it’s been held at the middle school. We’ve got a huge space here, this is our basketball court, this is our home and this is where we need to be.”
Sam Rockey, an incoming eighth-grader, said he has attended the camp every year since second grade.
He said this week the coaches taught the campers a lot of drills and things they can do by themselves at home.
“It’s mainly drills we can do at home to help us progress for the basketball season,” he said. “I like the team aspect. I guess one person could do it all, but it takes more of the team to do it all, unlike in some sports one person can do the entire thing.”
Manns said the older kids have a more complex schedule.
“We get more into things,” he said. “We actually have some station breakdown where we teach a lot of things with ball handling, passing, shooting and rebounding. A lot of those things you can do on your own. We’re encouraging our kids to take these drills that they’re learning home so they can become better basketball players.”
Aden Kruse, who is entering seventh grade, said this is the fourth year for him to attend the basketball camp.
“I like individual things, stuff you can do at home,” Kruse said. “(Tuesday) we did five-on-five.”
He said he enjoys playing point-guard, and that he worked to improve dribbling left-handed.
Manns said that the program is building for the future through the camps.
“I think, most important for them, they need to have a good time because we want them to come back,” he said. “We get all the kids together at the beginning of camp, at the end of camp so we’ve got a lot of Owls in one place.”
The older boys scrimmaged at the end of camp Tuesday.
“The kids want to play, they need to play but the most important of camp is them getting some fundamentals that they camp take out with them,” Manns said. “We’re more than back into it. It’s been full go since (May 28) with the older kids and the high school kids. We’re working out with our freshmen twice a week. Our older kids are playing in a league in Salem. So the kids are doing a good job of working and trying to get better and they are getting better.”
The Owls’ high school teams will participate in a shootout at Whiteland June 26.