Basketball camp teaches girls skills for game

Tuesday, July 23, 2002

Editor's note: Jenni Miinch attended a basketball camp at Southeast Missouri State University earlier this summer and filed this report about her experience.

By Jenni Miinch

Dr. James Naismith was a teacher at the YMCA Training School in Massachusetts in 1891. One day, while trying to find a way to interest his bored gym students, he made up the game basketball.

In his version, players used a soccer ball. Of course, they couldn't use a basketball because it hadn't been invented yet. The hoops consisted of peach baskets nailed to the lower balcony in the gym. There were nine players instead of five and they were all male.

They never thought that over a century later there would ever be camps to improve your basketball skills.

Southeast Missouri State University's women's basketball team has been offering a basketball camp for girls. There are three types of camps offered at Southeast. The first one is the skills camp, and you learn basic skills to make you a better player. The second one is team camp and your team registers together and you work on skills to make you a better team. The third one is parent/daughter camp, and the daughter and her parent work on skills to make the daughter a better player.

At the skills camp the girl can stay as a resident camper or a day camper. Resident campers stay in the Tower dormitories, and breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided. Day campers come in the morning and go home at night. They can bring their lunch and dinner, or when the register they can buy their lunch and dinner for the whole week.

The skills the girls learn can vary from defensive slides to jump shots or screens to lay-ups. Each age group is divided up into teams and each day the same age division scrimmage against each other. The morning session includes stations. While one station was doing defensive slides another station could be doing the three-man weave.

The afternoon session might be different from day to day. One day it might be sessions but another day you might work on the different positions there are, and how to do well at them all. At the night session your team would scrimmage against most of the other teams in your age division.

The last night of camp there would be a sleepover in the Rec Center (for day campers also). Dinner would be pizza but you would also do your regular sessions. That night they would have a talent show. The next morning there would be doughnuts for breakfast and an awards banquet.

At the end of the banquet the girls grab their stuff and leave the camp. In just one week the girls learned how to be a better offensive and defensive player.

In a couple of years they will be ready to become WNBA Players.

Miinch is a member of the Class of 2morrow teen advisory panel.

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