Trinity Lutheran hosts youth basketball camp


Mike Lang says he wanted the athletes that attended the girls basketball camp in the Bollinger Athletic Complex at Trinity Lutheran High School this week to have fun while improving their basketball skills.

Lang had 17 girls, ranging from second through eighth grade, at the ninth annual camp.

Assistant coaches Mary Ellen Jaynes, Rob Sipe and Donna Sullivan, plus members of Trinity’s girls team, worked with the campers.

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“Our second-graders are all down on the lower basket,” Lang said. “We’re doing the same thing with them at the lower basket: Working on their form, working on their footwork, just trying to teach the proper mechanics instead of letting them shoot it from the hip.”

Dianna Munoz, who will be an eighth-grader at Immanuel Lutheran School, said this is the second year for her to attend the camp at Trinity.

“I went to a new school last year, and it gives me a chance to connect with other members of the team,” Munoz said. “I like to create friendships. It also lets me be competitive at the same time, and I like both shooting and dribbling. I think the main thing I need to focus on is dribbling because I have to have more control of the ball.”

She also plays softball and said when she enters Trinity Lutheran she wants to play soccer.

Marissa Baker, an incoming fourth-grader at Immanuel Lutheran School, said she enjoys playing basketball.

“I’ve come to this camp for a couple of years and I’ve been to a couple of different camps a lot of times,” Baker said. “Basketball is fun and you get to make new friends, meet new people, and it’s just fun to learn new stuff.

Baker, who also enjoys playing softball and soccer, and running cross-country said, “We’re working on shooting, dribbling. I’m right-handed but I’m better at dribbling with my left hand. I can dribble with both hands. I’m working with my left hand (shooting), but I mostly shoot with both hands on the left side.”

Lang said teaching to dribble with both hands depends on the player.

“If we see a girl out there that can maybe do it a little bit we’ll start introducing it to her. The one thing you don’t want to do is you don’t want them to walk out of here discouraged like they failed at something,” he said. “I want them to feel like they’ve succeeded at everything they’ve done. We’ll try them at left-handed and if they can’t get it we’ll put them back with their strong hand. We tell them head up, keep it under control. It’s not a race. The more we can keep them under control the better they’re going to be.”

Lang said, while teaching defense, he emphasizes them to move their feet.

“We’ll put them into our closeout drill to teach them to slide their feet, not cross them,and get that outside foot pointed toward where they’re going, and to play big with their hands,” he said. “Just the very basics of it, and hopefully at the end of the night they’re going to walk out of here with a smile on their face.”

Lang said he planned to try something a little different on the final night, mixing some of the high school players in with the campers and close the camp with a game of kickball.

“Summer is winding down and I think the one thing is they can come in here and work as hard as they want and as long as they’re going home and having fun we’re served our purpose,” he said.

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