Owls help develop skills at girls basketball camp


More than 100 girls showed up at Seymour Middle School from Tuesday to Friday to participate in the Seymour girls basketball camp.

The Owls did two sessions with a younger group in the early afternoon and an older group to follow.

With the younger group, head coach Jason Longmeier set up a lot more stations and fun obstacle courses for them to do, and with the older group, he had them do a lot more game-like situations and competitions.

“With our younger groups, we do a lot of stations. Then we find a few more obstacle courses for them to do to keep it fun and keep them entertained,” Longmeier said. “For our older groups, after the first couple of days, we start getting into our competitions. We award hot shot winner, free throw winner and 3-point winner and do second and third place for those, as well. We just start getting them to build those activities up to game situations for our older kids.”

Longmeier gets to hover around throughout the camp and make sure things are running smoothly because the players on the high school team are the ones who really run the different stations and connect with the kids.

It’s a daylong schedule for the Owls, who before running the camp get a practice in of their own.

“That’s awesome for us because they run the camp. Us coaches can walk around and it gives us a chance to mingle with the kids, rather than just stay at one station. Our kids really enjoy this week because it’s a big team bonding week for us,” Longmeier said. “They get here at 9:30 in the morning and they leave at 4:30. We have our workouts from 10 to 11. Then they go to lunch and we come back and do this. They understand the importance to help build our program, and the kids love seeing their faces.”

Kendall Sterling, who will be a senior this upcoming season, said she enjoys meeting all of the campers and interacting with them.

“It’s really fun. It’s fun to meet all the little girls. They’re funny, and they just like to play and they enjoy it,” Sterling said. “I like meeting all of them and getting to know them, and I recognize some of them from past years, so it’s nice to see them return.”

This is the second year in a row that the girls basketball camp at Seymour has drawn big numbers.

It’s important for Longmeier to keep the younger kids in the community interested in basketball, but he also wants younger kids to try more sports.

“It’s important right now, numbers across the state for girls basketball are way down. We play a lot of teams that are struggling to put JV teams together. Our younger kids, we have a lot of talent right now, and we have to keep them interested,” Longmeier said. “We’re competing with other things. I’m a firm believer in multisport athletes. I think it’s important that our young ones continue to play volleyball, basketball, softball, whatever they want to do. But we have to find a way to build that love that they want to stay and develop with basketball all the way through.”

The fun days of camp ended Friday for Seymour, and now, the high school team continues to work the rest of the month.

Seymour will play East Central and Lawrenceburg on Tuesday at East Central, and then the Owls will host the Seymour Shootout at the middle school on Thursday.

Later this month, Seymour will head to Indiana University for a one-day shootout, and they also will play at Hanover College.

“June is important for us. July, my motto is ‘If I see ya, I see ya,’” Longmeier said. “A lot of our fall sport athletes, once we get into July, I really don’t need to see them. We don’t want to be pulling them so far in different directions where they feel like, ‘I‘ve got to do this.’ So like I tell them, I want to see them in June. That’s where we do our work. We’ve got a busy June.”

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