Hoopsters show their skill in camp

Simon Fraser University basketball coach Bruce Langford impressed by talent at camp

CANDICE CHARTRAND of Camrose

CANDICE CHARTRAND of Camrose

Bruce Langford saw a lot of potential in the Penticton Girls Basketball camp this week.

Langford, coach of the Simon Fraser University Clan women’s basketball team, switched between Pen High and Princess Margaret Monday to Thursday to work with junior and senior players while receiving help from his Clan players.

“It’s good to see them out in the summer working on their skills,” said Langford, whose team fell one win short of a national championship in the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Division II.

The camp attracted 58 players, down 20 from the year before, but every player showed a keen interest in improving. Langford said it’s always the youngest that have the most potential. Part of it is because they are the furthest away from where they eventually reach in their development. With the juniors, he saw players working hard and focused.

“They have some good energy. They have been an enjoyable group,” said Langford, who has recruited handful of players over the 16 years he has instructed the camp. “The young kids bad habits are easier to fix. Most of the kids had their heads down. Only about six were good with their eyes and heads up. Already in three days you are able to see some improvement. It isn’t an ingrained habit. They have just never been told to keep their heads up.”

They key thing Langford stressed with the players is the need to practice. He suggested they set goals for themselves and find things to constantly improve.  He also said they should be looking to improve on every drill and do ones that require them to think.

“The enthusiasm in this (Pen High) gym has been good. The energy has been good. It’s nice to come back and see kids here that have been to several camps.”