In the 10 years Jason Longmeier has been holding the Seymour girls basketball camp, he has never had a bigger turnout than what he had this week.
The head coach of the Owls’ high school girls varsity team had 93 girls show up in attendance for the camp at Seymour Middle School.
“We’re very pleased with that. We knew after not being able to have a camp last year that we would have people chomping at the bit," Longmeier said. "So we’re moving in the right direction. We’re starting to get a lot of interest with our young kids with what we’re doing. We just plan on continuing to build off of that."
The main focus throughout the camp was shooting and ball handling.
Longmeier believes those are the two most important things to have kids at a young age get down. He told the girls after the camp ended to keep working on shooting and ball handling because those are the two things that can get them on the right path to becoming a high school player.
"You can’t do that too much," he said. "Until you can get those two things accomplished, a lot of the other things aren’t going to take care of itself."
They ran some defensive drills, as well, but those were mainly saved for the older kids. With the older kids at the camp, they focused a little more on team drills, running full court three-on-three and five-on-five.
Members of the girls varsity high school team were in attendance to help out with the camp.
"We really appreciate the intermingling of those two groups, and the younger kids like it, as well," Longmeier said.
Not only is the basketball camp a fun time for younger kids and an opportunity for them to grow with the game, but it’s also a chance for Longmeier to keep that connection and pipeline to help Seymour’s program grow.
Playing in the Hoosier Hills Conference, Longmeier believes it’s important to keep the youth interested and engaged.
"At a place like us, you have to have three to four in each class. We play 4A basketball. We play one of the toughest schedules in the state of Indiana. If we don’t have three or four kids at each grade level that can play, it makes it tough," Longmeier said. "That’s our goal is try to get three or four really good players from each level, and I think right now, as you look down from our current sophomores, incoming freshmen, all the way to our fourth grade, we’re really starting to see that."
All of the camps for the Owls are wrapped up now, and the focus turns toward the high school team until the season begins. Seymour has been playing games throughout June in Indianapolis, and it also participated in the Seymour Shootout earlier this month.
Since many members of Seymour’s team are multisport athletes and have other obligations in the fall before basketball season, Longmeier said they work on most of the team stuff in June. Then in July, there will be a couple of workouts and some individual skill work.