The Sonoraville High boys and girls basketball teams hosted its seventh annual youth basketball camp which started on Monday and ended Thursday, and boys head coach Brent Mashburn, girls head coach Stephanie Caudell and other volunteers had their hands full to say the least.
The camp for boys and girls ranging from first-graders to upcoming ninth-graders had over 50 participants over the four days.
“It’s a lot of work involved, but it’s always a fun to have the opportunity to be around so many of these kids and the energy they bring,” said Mashburn. “As basketball coaches it’s a great opportunity to teach the kids and let them have fun at the same time. I think if we can tie those two things together, learning and having fun, they’ll want to do more things pertaining to basketball more often.”
The camp ran from 8:30 a.m.-12 p.m. each day, and each camper received instruction from coaches as well as current and former players as well as a t-shirt on Thursday.
Mashburn said the biggest thing the instructors tried to teach was basic basketball skills.
“Just like in the past, we stressed fundamentals this week,” said Mashburn. “We did some drills and other things with them this week that hopefully they can take and work on in the front yard or at home.”
As camp wrapped up on Thursday, each camper was called up separately to be recognized and receive his or her t-shirt.
There were also special honors awarded to winners of free-throw and hot spot contests as well as camper of the week honors for girls and boys in each of the older and younger age groups.
15 current and former players helped Mashburn and Caudell this week, including Sonoraville boys’ all-time leading scorer Justin Zachary.
Caudell said she thought the kids responded well and learned a lot in just a few days.
“It seemed like they picked things up pretty quick,” said Caudell. “We tried to do more advanced skills each day, especially with the older group, and the enthusiasm of the younger group was great all week.”
Caudell said she and the other coaches and volunteers were grateful that to the Gordon County Parks and Recreation for letting them use their gym for the camp.
Mashburn said another great part of camp is getting to see the future generation of Sonoraville basketball.
“It’s extremely exciting,” said Mashburn. “It’s good to look around and see the number of kids that we’ve had this week and know that those are the ones that will be filling our program for the next 10 years.
“We’ve seen so many kids come through these camps that are playing for me or coach Caudell now. It’s good to get them to buy into Sonoraville Athletics early so they’ll be ready to carry it on when they get to high school.”