Pro coach focuses on fundamentals

Fraport Skyliners coach instruct boys during Penticton Basketball Camp

Former Pen High Laker Gordie Herbert who has international professional coaching experience in Europe and North America talks with participants in this week's boys basketball camp at Penticton Secondary School.

To Gordie Herbert, there are three objectives to the Penticton Basketball Camp.

The first is to teach players the fundamentals, next is how to play the game and finally for them to enjoy playing.

“We try to do competitions. We do skill development, fundamentals too,” said Herbert, instructor for the boys’ section of the camp, who also coaches the Fraport (Frankfurt) Skyliners in Germany’s Basketball Bundesliga. “We have to be careful we don’t do too much of one thing.”

Jiv Grewal, who is entering his Grade 11 season with the Princess Margaret Mustangs team, loves the camp.

“Gordie has been pretty good with explaining everything he teaches,” said Grewal.

Being a post player, Grewal focused on improving his moves in that position, but also becoming more all-round to handle responsibilities as a point guard and small forward. He noticed improvement each day. One thing he learned was to keep his head up while dribbling fast.

Brendan Prawdzik of Hope Secondary School also said the camp was good. While Herbert focused on coaching basic skills, the Grade 11 student said that still really helps.

“I’m a guard and it helps to be more all-around. A lot of shooting skills. I learn a lot of the technique,” said Prawdzik.

Lucas Ziebart, a Grade 11 student from North Peace Secondary in Fort St. John, liked that the camp had more young players. He said that is good as it gives them an opportunity to see how they fair against older players such as himself. Over the four days he was focused on improving his dribbling skills, layups and shooting.

“Hopefully I can get to the next  (college) level, ” said Prawdzik, adding he aspires to play in the U.S.

Herbert, whose Skyliners team made it to the Euroleague Final Four Championship, said there were talented kids from areas such as Keremeos, Alberta and northern B.C. The fundamentals the players learned about and worked on during the camp, they can do on their own.

“I have always said that teams are built during the winter. Players are built during the summer,” said Herbert. “This is the time for their individual work. Spend time in the gym and work.”

The girls section, instructed by Simon Fraser University Clan women’s coach Bruce Langford, is Aug. 10-13. Contact Fred Fedorak at 250-493-6387 for information and to register or register online at


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