This year’s crop of boys at the 33rd Penticton Basketball Camp has raised the bar on skill level.
“I think it’s been very, very good,” said coach Gordon Herbert, who returned for his second year as instructor at the camp “We’ve made a step up from last year. The kids are better than last year. The kids want to learn.”
Herbert, who coaches the Frankfurt Skyliners in Germany, sees kids who want to get better and more than half were in last year’s camp. Herbert and his assistants, players from UBC-Okanagan, go over fundamental skills and try to teach the kids how to play, read and react to the game.
“It’s not easy, especially with younger kids,” he said. “We want them to have a good experience, have fun.”
Herbert, who said he would return for a third year, also wants the players to take the knowledge gained and use it to work on their skills.
“They can go to the gym and work on it,” he said. “What you do as a team is about 25 per cent. What you do with the other 75 per cent will make you a player.”
The coaches have the players complete drills, but also play games. Getting that experience is what Zack Gibbons of Rosedale, Alta. likes.
“I like playing the four-on-four games the best,” said Gibbons. “It’s fun to play with all the kids in an actual game. Use the stuff that we have learned in the games. It’s really competitive and I like competition.”
Gibbons, who helped the Rosedale Rockets win a zone banner last season, is improving his shooting and passing skills. Gibbons has learned a lot from Herbert and coach Rene Aubin.
Andre Rachinski, who played for the KVR Express last season, is focused on using his six-foot-two frame to his advantage.
“Because of my height, I like to focus a lot on my post moves,” he said.
He wants to play more aggressive, within the rules and hopes to get stronger.
Herbert and the players aren’t the only ones who have seen strides. Organizer Fred Fedorak has been very impressed.
“I see a big change in the senior group,” said Fedorak, who gave credit to the coaching for helping the players. “They are much improved from last year. We are working them pretty hard.”
This year’s camp attracted 57 boys, which is on par from last year. The girls, scheduled for Aug.11-14, at Pen High and Princess Margaret, currently has 76 players signed up. To register for the girls camp, go to www.members.shaw.ca/flfedorak/index.html or call Fedorak at 250-493-6387.
Fedorak said it’s likely the camp will return for a 34th year