Camp initiates next wave of WC players|[06/08/07]

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 8, 2007

The thud of basketballs pounding hardwood resonates from the Warren Central gym Tuesday morning.

A whistle blows, and the girls surround Lady Vikes coach Donny Fuller in a huddle. Camp is in session, and 11 second- through eighth-graders spent their mornings this week at the school.

Some of the campers rarely miss a shot during the opening layup drill, cringing when they do. Others are happy just to get the ball near the rim.

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&#8220Yesterday, she could barely get the ball to the net,” Fuller said about one of the youngest campers. &#8220Already today, her ball has bounced off the rim a few times. There’s going to be a celebration when she makes one.”

For the first part of the morning, campers are split up into age groups and go to different stations. It’s still early in the week, so fundamentals are stressed.

At one station, WC players are teaching girls how to dribble. At another, the art of boxing out for a rebound is taught. Elsewhere in the gym, there are stations on passing, defense and shooting.

Fuller is mostly an observer. He’s there to make sure everything runs smoothly, but lets his players do the teaching. Some of the campers come to games during the season and know the players by their name and jersey number.

&#8220The younger kids would rather be coached by one of our players than me because they look up to them,” said Fuller, who has been doing this long enough that he remembers when Kyt Bonner – who went on to star at WC and coached the St. Aloysius girls team last season – was a camper.

Many campers have come and gone since then, including current WC sophomore Ricille Davis, who said she attended the camp for six summers when she was younger. Now, as a player, Davis is one of the teachers.

&#8220My favorite part is helping them to get better like the players that helped me,” Davis said.

The morning isn’t all about drills. There’s a chance for prizes during individual competitions. Monday, whoever made the most layups in a minute won a Warren Central jersey. The winner of Tuesday’s individual competition got a headband.

Camper Tiara Slater, 10, said she hopes to play point guard for the Lady Vikes some day. She went to a lot of Warren Central’s games last season because her aunt, Denetra Foy, is on the team.

The final event of the day, and Slater’s favorite part of camp, is when campers are split up into two teams and play a game, with WC players refereeing and coaching.

Shae Stamps, 10, said she hopes to play professional basketball when she’s older, but she has mixed feelings about the games at camp.

&#8220When we win I like it,” Stamps said, &#8220but I don’t like it when we lose.”