SFU coach helps hoopsters improve

After 13 years of instructing the girls section of the Penticton Basketball Camp, Bruce Langford isn’t fixing what’s not broken

After 13 years of instructing the girls section of the Penticton Basketball Camp, Bruce Langford isn’t fixing what’s not broken.

“I don’t think we change it up as much as we do build and add some things,” said Langford, coach of the Simon Fraser University Clan women’s team, of the four-day camp that began Monday.

“The goal is to learn a few things every year and add that to what we do.”

The important things that Lanford and his 10 players, who came from SFU, taught are the fundamentals so the players can work on things themselves.

Langford said the only way that anybody becomes a better player is by getting in the gym every single morning, year round.

What Langford likes about the 78 kids in camp is they are keen. Many have been to the camp before and he said it’s nice to see familiar faces.

“It’s nice to be in the gym with enthusiastic, keen kids every morning,” he said, while they performed a drill.

One of them is Penticton’s Emily Clarke, who attended her fifth camp. The Grade 12 Pen High student said it’s great and she likes how it starts with simple drills.

“Even if you are a really good player, after the four days you are a more developed player,” she said. “Really, I love the competition here that you get. You can improve on every aspect like ball handling and shooting. I love the coaches. There is a great team atmosphere here. Everyone is here to work hard.”

Bree Phelps, a Grade 9 student from Mission, came because she liked the camp after participating when she was in her Grade 7 year. Her focus was to improve her dribbling and shooting skills. She also looked forward to playing and scrimmaging.

Phelps said the skills of the players at camp are good and she strived to match them.

 

With the help of Langford’s coaching, she used the week to prepare for a new season.

Langford, who guided the Clan to a Sweet 16 appearance in the National Collegiate Athletic Association during their first year of Division II playoff eligibility, said there are several players in the camp who can play at the college or university level.

“There are many serious girls here who could play in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport,” said Langford. “Certainly B.C. college and some of them in the NCAA.”

“Some of the things they do are very good already,” he said.

 

He said the goal of the camp is to make them love basketball and give them the skillset they can work and build on.