Foundation for the future

Published 12:05 am Thursday, June 16, 2016

0203-spt-B-teamNew Andalusia High School boys’ basketball head coach Anthony Clark, with the help of his varsity players, will put on free basketball camp for students first through sixth grade in the Andalusia City School system from June 27-29 at Andalusia High School.

“This is something we are going to do every summer,” Clark said. “Since this is my first year, I want a chance to get to know the kids and gauge the interest that we have.”

For the first year of the camp, Clark said that it would be free to all students in the Andalusia City School system.

“We want to get as many kids here as we can handle,” Clark said. “It’s important to get to know these kids, and that’s why we made it free this year. Eventually, we will probably charge for it.”

Getting to know the kids early is something Clark said he intends to do.

“Eventually, we want to work and coordinate with the parks and recreation department to get a strong relationship going,” Clark said. “By the time the kids get into fifth and sixth grade, we want to know who they are.”

Clark said that future dates for the camp won’t be as late in the summer.

“In the future, we will try to do the camp a few weeks after school gets out,” Clark said. “With the hire being so late, we weren’t able to do it that way this year. We will coordinate with VBS and things like that so that we won’t be competing with that.”

As for the camp, Clark said the focus will be on skills.

“Everyone uses the term fundamentals when talking about camp,” Clark said, “but, what we are going to do is focus on three things; ball handling, passing and shooting.”

One of the main things that Clark said he wanted was to give the kids something they could use after the camp is over.

“One of the main goals of the camp is to leave them with tools that they use to develop their game,” Clark said. “With the number of guys that we have working the camp, hopefully, every camper will be able to get a lot of individual attention.”

Clark said the main focus will be ball handling, passing and shooting, but they would have different things for the kids to do.

“Every day we will do an hour or so of shooting, ball handling and working on stances,” Clark said. “We do have some games like hot shot, a skills obstacle course and other games that we will throw in just to mix things up a little.”

Even though the camp is for the kids, Clark said it’s also something good for players who volunteer to coach the camp.

“It gives them an opportunity to give back and get to know the kids,” Clark said. “It also gives them a chance to earn community service hours. I require my varsity players to earn 40 hours community service in order to dress out. This gives them a chance to knock out 10 or 11 hours of that in three days, if they come early to set up and stay late clean.”

Besides needing community service hours, it also helps the players in other ways, Clark said.

“For some of these players, maybe they want to be coaches one day,” Clark said. “This gives them a chance to kind of cut their teeth and see what it’s like to coach kids.”

The camp will be June 27-29 at the Andalusia High School gym from 9 a.m. until noon.

Registration is available in the office at Andalusia High School. Registration will also be held the morning of June 27, but space will be limited to the first 75 campers to sign up.