Thirty years later, basketball camp still in demand

Fred Fedorak never thought the Penticton Basketball Camp would hit its 30th year.

Fred Fedorak never thought the Penticton Basketball Camp would hit its 30th year.

On July 25, when the first camp opens for boys Grades 7 to 12, that will happen. Fedorak, a former Pen High Lakers coach, figured the camp would have ended when he retired 16 years ago.

“The interest and the demand was there,” said Fedorak, adding that local coaches have encouraged him to keep it alive. “It’s probably one of the longest camps in the province. At one time we were the only Interior camp in the province.”

Along with the first camp July 25 to 28, girls will get their turn on Aug. 8 to 11. Camps run from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Princess Margaret Secondary School (for Grades 7 and 9) and Penticton Secondary (for Grades 10 to 12). There will be a minimum of 150 kids participating.Fedorak said the camp has been successful because it has always had the best university coaches. In it’s earlier days, former Toronto Raptors coach Jay Triano instructed. There was also Ken Shields, who led the UVic Vikes to six Canadian Interuniversity Sport championships and University of Washington coach Marv Harshman.

“They are the ones that really helped get this camp started,” said Fedorak.

And Fedorak feels the camps are running more effectively now than ever.

Kevin Hanson, coach of the UBC Thunderbirds, has been with working with the boys for seven years. The active players the coaches bring are an added bonus.

“Those are great role models,” said Fedorak. “They show kids how to do it. It gives them what they can strive for if they want to continue playing basketball.”

With Hanson and Bruce Langford, who has won three national championships with Simon Fraser University, students have good instructors.

Langford keeps coming back because he feels Fedorak organizes the camp well and makes it a good experience.

“The kids that you come to work with are always enthusiastic and from all over the province,” said Langford.

Langford enjoys working with keen kids and seeing them develop. One who comes to mind is Ashley McGinnis.

“I think Ashley McGinnis has been coming to the camp since she was in Grade 5 or 6,” said Langford. “See those kids develop year to year to year is a good experience.”

Langford has even had some eventually join him at the Simon Fraser University, including Robyn Buna who became CIS player of the year with the Clan. Buna will be running the older camp.

“The reason it was started was to provide an opportunity to kids and stay home,” said Fedorak. “The one thing I enjoy about it is just being around young people and seeing how dedicated and earnest they are when they come to these camps.”

For registration forms, call Fred Fedorak at 250-493-6387.