Young residents and future Mustangs spent their first days away from school honing their basketball skills under the guidance of top names in the Madisonville program.
The camp was run by MHS men's basketball Coach Chris Reid, women’s basketball coach Shana Taylor, assistant women’s coach Tarsha Neely and MHS graduate and basketball star Tommy Holiday, who is coming off of an impressive freshman season with the Concordia Tornados.
The camp ran Monday through Thursday in the main gym with two sessions running each morning. The early camp lasted from 8-9:30 a.m. and consisted of Kindergarteners, first and second graders while the later session ran from 10-11:30 a.m. with third, fourth and fifth graders. The grades were based on their enrollment in the school year that just concluded.
“From a community standpoint, it is huge because it gives the kids something positive to do,” said Reid. “They are out of their daily routines of getting up and going to school and a lot of kids are at home twiddling their thumbs trying to figure out what to do.”
Reid also does not underestimate the longterm advantage from a basketball perspective. The camp was based largely on fundamentals and encompassed offensive skills on Monday such as ball handling, dribble-pass-shoot, proper bounce, chest and overhead passes, layups and proper jump shot form.
On Tuesday, they moved to defense and highlighted footwork, how to stay in front of someone, how to avoid reach-in fouls and proper stances. The campers brought it all together on Wednesday and practiced team drills and passing concepts. Thursday was a competition day devoted to a number of games that resulted in prizes.
“Anytime you can get kids in the gym for a camp, as well as the reestablishment of our Little Dribblers program, it is a big advantage,” said Reid. “When you can teach kids things when they are young, they retain it better. You see this is martial arts, music or learning a second language. Basketball is no different. You start teaching them these drills and by the time they get to UIL age, they already have the basics down.”
At the conclusion of the camp, Reid spoke to the kids about the importance of getting out and staying active during the summer.
Each camper received a basketball, good for indoor and outdoor use, as well as a certificate thanking them for a week’s worth of work ethic and sportsmanship.