On a sunny Friday morning, dozens of young boys checked into Big Walnut High School, received a t-shirt and went into the gymnasium, where they dribbled and shot basketballs. A whistle blew, and they stopped whatever they were doing in mid-motion.
The whistle was blown boys varsity head basketball coach Brett Bartlett, who is heading the boys basketball summer camp for a third season.
“The primary focus of this camp is on developing offensive skills with these kids, showing them a lot of drills, things they can do on their own to improve themselves,” Bartlett said. “The three things we talk about are balance and footwork, ball handling and shooting. Those things are what allows you to be a good offensive player.”
Over a three-day period (Wednesday-Friday), there were two sessions of the camp, each session lasting 2.5 hours. The morning session is for boys entering grades 3-5; and the afternoon session is for boys entering grades 6-9.
“We do different drills they can see and work on in camp, that they hopefully carry over and do on their own,” Bartlett said. “Then we have competitions throughout the camp. We have a dribbling competition, we had a layup contest and a hotshot contest. We also play three-on-three, four-on-four, and five-on-five.”
The boys who attend the camp are at skill levels, and all are welcomed, he said.
“A lot of our travel kids are here, but there’s also some who are new to the game of basketball, or organized coaching. Our junior class this year, they were freshman my first year, and you get to know them by just being around the program. It’s fun to get to know the kids and see how excited they get when competitions are happening. Seeing them interact with our high school players is enjoyable to watch, too.
“You can always see when some kid has God-given talent,” Bartlett continued. “It’s always interesting to see what they wear to camp, their favorite jersey or the shoes they wear.”
At the end of the session, the boys had some pizza and were picked up by their parents.
“We just want to get the young kids excited about the game of basketball and show them what it takes to be a good player,” Bartlett said. “Hopefully they will learn something, and have fun. If they want to be able to play later, they can do these workouts over summer when they have the time.”
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.