Basketball camps are a Hartselle tradition
Clif Knight, Hartselle Enquirer
Hartselle Basketball Camp is more than a place to go to learn how to play hoops. It's also about building character and having fun, according to Johnny Berry, director.
"It started a long time before I got here," Berry said, "and it's a tradition that's alive and well."
He added, "I had 26 boys trying out for the varsity team a few days ago. I asked them how many had participated in basketball camp here and all but one said they had.
"Like other hoops camps, we devote a lot of time and effort to teaching the fundamentals of the game…passing, dribbling, shooting, etc.," he pointed out, "but we strive to go beyond that. We'll bring in a referee to talk about sportsmanship and coach (Bob) Godsey to talk about the importance of teamwork. Above all else, we want the kids to have a great time."
This year's camp got under way on Tuesday and will continue through Friday. More than 125 kids between kindergarten and ninth grade are involved. They are divided into three age groups and are being coached at three sites. Kids between the ages of kindergarten and third grade are at First United Methodist Church; fourth through sixth graders are at the back gym at Sparkman Civic Center; and seventh through ninth graders are at the front gym at the civic center.
Camp coaches are Gary Orr and Keith Wright, varsity boys assistant coaches at Hartselle High, Greg Adams, girls varsity coach, and his assistant, Tanya Lybarger, at Hartselle High, and Hartselle Junior High coaches Johnny Sivley, Steve Knight and Christy Ferguson. Orr, Wright and Adams are serving as site directors. Former Hartselle High player Jason Crow is also helping out.
"Most of our campers come from Hartselle and surrounds areas but his year we have a kid from Miami, Fla.," Berry stated. "He's visiting his grandparents in Decatur. When they read about the camp in the paper, they decided to enroll him so he would have some constructive to do with kids his age."
Berry said games like "Hot Shot Shootout" and "Simon Sez" are used to give practice sessions a change of pace. Three- on-three competitions are also featured.