By Clare Hancock
On Monday afternoon, 40 boys burst joyfully through the purple doors of South Eugene High School after their first day at basketball camp. From 8:00am until noon, high school students and coaches taught the fundamentals of basketball to boys between the ages of five and thirteen.
South Eugene High School’s Boys Basketball Camp was founded in 1976 with the goal of teaching rudimentary basketball skills as well as drills, techniques and teamwork to local community children. Each day of camp is filled with teaching sessions, drills, games and periodic breaks. The competitive games are designed to challenge young players and teach them not to dwell on winning or losing but enjoying the thrill of the sport. “When players are put in competitive situations, their best skills are realized,” said Dave Hancock, Athletic Director, basketball coach and instructor at South Eugene.
Skilled campers as well as inexperienced campers worked hard at testing their newly learned skills; dribbling basketballs across the court, passing to one another and shooting toward hoops as often as possible. 25 out of 40 boys were between the ages of five and eight, an unusually young average. Even though the majority of the camp was younger, everyone was placed in groups according to their skill level and was given individualized training from high school mentors and coaches.
While the Boys Basketball Camp helps to raise money for South Eugene’s more rigorous basketball training camp, it serves a deeper purpose of providing substantial summer activities for local children. After reflecting on the camp’s goals, Coach Hancock stated that “this camp is mainly about giving back to the community and getting kids focused on their future high school achievements as well as getting them excited about trying out for South Eugene’s basketball team.” Coach Hancock directed sports camps and coached basketball for 30 years. He has coached at South Eugene High School for 11 years.
The Boys Basketball Camp is only open for one week and is $50 for four days (16 hours); however, spaces are still available and in the case of an absence, individual days will be pro-rated. Each day starts at 8:00am and ends at 12:00pm. Girls of all skill levels between the ages of five and thirteen are welcome to the South Eugene Girls Basketball Camp beginning July 12th and ending July 16th.