Bears host 72 at youth camp

Plainview High School hosted their third annual basketball fundamentals camp for three days for kids from all around DeKalb County.

Boys and girls between grades one through three started working on fundamentals from 8-11 a.m. and fourth, fifth and sixth-graders took over from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. each day.

Plainview boys’ basketball coach Robi Coker said the kids clearly improve every day.

“We just work on the basic fundamentals of the game each day,” Coker said. “It’s very enjoyable because we can see these young guys getting better daily. We do what we call ‘championship stations,’ and that’s where we break off into groups of six and have each group work on dribbling, passing, shooting form, defensive stance and layups. We just want to give these kids a solid mix of fundamentals that they can work with to become better basketball players.”

Plainview girls’ basketball coach Heather Powell said it’s important for the kids to learn the basics first.

“If kids get the fundamentals and the basics that they need to start with, they can go back to their leagues and really get better,” Powell said. “We try to lay a good foundation where these kids can play the game for the rest of their lives, and where they can truly enjoy the game as a spectator if they decide not to play in the future.”

There were 72 kids who received training from the high school basketball staff and players. Campers came from Henagar, Geraldine, Fyffe, Cornerstone and Rainsville.

Plainview third-grader Cy Traylor said this was the second camp he has attended.

“I have a lot of fun working on shooting and dribbling,” Traylor said. “I like playing defense and blocking shots too. My favorite part of camp has been when we scrimmage each other. I’ve been staying to practice with the older guys too, and that’s helped me get better.”

Miley Dukes, who is also a third-grader from Plainview, said that she has become a better dribbler at camp.

“We’ve worked on dribbling a lot and that’s what I think I’m best at,” Dukes said. “My favorite is when we play two-on-two. I have a lot of fun here, and I want to keep playing basketball when I get older.”

The camp has grown in attendance each year the school has hosted it. Powell said they will continue to try to get more kids involved in future camps.

“This camp is open for anyone from anywhere to come,” Powell said. “Having more people from different areas makes for better competition. I think having more kids here drives them to compete more, and it can help build friendships among campers. I think that the more kids we get out here, the better. We would love to add to this event, and maybe even add another session next year.”

Both coaches enjoyed working with the local kids.

Coker said they have all been great learners.

“It’s fun because these kids and their parents wanted them to be here,” Coker said. “We get to work with kids who want to be in the gym during this time of the year when they could be in the pool or the river, but these kids chose to work on their game. It’s fun to work with these young guys because they hang onto every word we tell them. We can really see them all getting better over the course of these three days.”

Powell said the camp has become a way for the basketball program to give back to the community.

“I love it,” Powell said. “This is just pure enjoyment for me. For these kids, it’s all about building a love for basketball. They’re super coachable, and that always helps us have a great experience working with these kids. It also gives our high school players a way to give back to their community when they are out here helping and being role models for the younger kids.”

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