Fred Fedorak wasn’t kidding when he said the Penticton Basketball Camp is in demand.
Fedorak has organized the camp for 30 years and watched the girls section follow the footsteps of the boys in selling out. The boys camp was held July 25 to 28 at Pen High and Princess Margaret, while the girls concluded on Thursday. The advanced group had 45 females participate, while the developing group had 44.
In the developing group Katie Watts waited 10 months to come.
“I live in Burns Lake which is about 11 hours north and so I don’t have much coaching there,” said Watts, who is attending the camp for the second year. “I get the coaching wherever I can.”
Watts loves that Simon Fraser University Clan coach Bruce Langford and his players share their enthusiasm for the game with the players and help them.
“They want to make it so you can be good but they are not, ‘Oh you can’t come because you’re not good enough’,” said Watts. “They accept everybody. Last year I couldn’t hold the ball.”
Carla Wyman, a junior guard for the Clan, can relate to Watt. The North Vancouver resident never played basketball when she attended the camp as a Grade 7 student. She was in town for a soccer camp and her teammates signed up for basketball.
“I was like OK may as well try it out,” said Wyman. “After the camp, because I had so much fun I decided to continue. I couldn’t do anything with a basketball (before).”
Wyman fell in love with the competitive side. During that first camp, she recalls prizes being awarded to those who won in certain games and those who won for playing the most games.
“I knew there was no way I could win because I couldn’t make a layup for the life of me,” she said. “I got as many games in as I could and ended up winning a sweatshirt which was the best thing ever.”
Wyman has been impressed with the athletes describing them as enthusiastic.
Langford can see the kids have fun and noticed the improvement.
“It’s kind of neat to see them each year develop and get better and better,” said Langford, whose team finished 7-17 during its first NCAA season earning a playoff berth.
Langford has noticed improvement in players ability to finish the reverse underhand layup.
“Quite a few of them can do it fairly well,” said Langford, “A couple of them are frustrated enough that they will work on it in their driveways.”