Summer schooled - The Explorer: Sports

Summer schooled

Hoops camps hone Shooters' skills

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Posted: Tuesday, June 10, 2008 11:00 pm | Updated: 8:03 am, Thu Mar 24, 2011.

The repetitive, spotty thunk of basketball dribbles filled Immaculate Heart’s gym like a first-year drummer hammering a trap kit.

Aberrant layups skated off the backboard glass, while their net-bound cousins — borne of better technique and possibly a complete breakfast — marked the school’s first foray into summer hoops skills camp, as plenty of eager kids turned out to polish their game.

And just three days into the weeklong foray, fifth-grader Nicolas Van Ert’s skills showed some panache.

The 11-year-old beat out several older kids during the previous day’s shooting competition — much to his awe — and by Thursday, his shots from the key sank regularly.

“Yeah, I’m really, really surprised,” Van Ert offered of his victory.

Whether to elementary students, or the handful of older high school kids in attendance, basketball clinics play several roles — part feeder camp, part school recruiter and part summer babysitter, said Chuck Davis, Immaculate Heart’s girls’ hoops coach and clinic organizer.

“If I was as flexible as this kid, I’d be doing something else for a living,” Davis laughed, as Van Ert continued to make shots.

Wiring kids up for their next level of play was one latent summer motive for the hoops mentors at Magee Road’s end. It’s important, since many of the attendees stood a real shot at making small-school squads — even a few 4A and 5A rosters — said the clinic’s skills coach Herb Williams.

“When they get to their teams, you can usually see the kids that went to camps,” Williams said. “They’re a little bit further ahead, fundamentally, than the ones that didn’t.”

Taking a break from a pickup game across the gymnasium, Immaculate Heart senior point guard Jessica Flayer said she’d used the clinic to scope out incoming freshmen that she might have to dish to next season.

“It’s kind of good to get them ready for the next year, to know what to expect from their game and help them understand ours,” Flayer said.

Flayer’s scenario likely rings in the minds of veteran players across the area. But as coaches like Williams — whose resume canvasses squads across the Northwest — take time out to nurture the next batch of shooters during the off-season, it’s clear they’re getting something out of it, too.

Pusch Ridge boys’ basketball coach Robert Carmona agreed as he prepped for the Oro Valley skills clinic he runs at Wilson K-8’s gymnasium.

“For me, I just like teaching basketball. It’s my sport, it’s what I do,” Carmona said.

During this year’s trial run of the late-afternoon program, Carmona hopes to build enough of a rapport that working parents can tote kids to the year-round clinic that he’s envisioned.

Carmona’s current 60-minute skills sessions offer youngsters bite-sized lessons that fit their attention spans. At Immaculate Heart’s four-hour installments, boredom is a killer when 30 youngsters bounce around the court, Williams said.

“We can teach them all the fundamentals we want, but if you don’t have fun things like ‘Beat the Clock’ and ‘Knockout,’ they hate it,” Williams said.

Williams often uses the buzzer-busting game called “Beat the Clock” to keep kids in tune. Players inbound the ball from the backcourt with seven seconds on the clock and have to sink the bucket.

Those who swish make it to a six-second round, and so on. As of Thursday morning, the record was four seconds.

That was, until incoming Immaculate Heart freshman Michael Phillips nailed a 40-footer as the buzzer cackled.

Phillips wasn’t quite sure what to make of the three-second shot that drew a few cheers.

“I don’t know,” Phillips supposed. “Lucky?”

Sharpen those

hoops skills

Northwest YMCA

• July 7-11, August 4-8

• 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

• Ages 6 to 14

• Members $70, public $80

• 229-9001

Oro Valley, at Wilson K-8

• June 9-27

• 5 to 6 p.m.

• Grades K-8

• $8 per hour

• 229-5050

Catalina Foothills High School

• June 16-July 2, July 7-23

• 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

• Grades 1 to 9

• $50 to $100, times and fee vary by age

• 209-8454

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HS Schedule

Tuesday, September 16

Boys Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Buena, Cienega at Marana

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge, Catalina at Amphi (Silverbell GC)

Catalina Foothills, Pueblo, Sahuarita at Sahuaro

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Mountain View at Rio Rico

Ironwood Ridge at Glendale Ironwood

Swimming (@4 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge, Sahuarita at Desert Christian

Wednesday, September 17

Girls Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Rincon at CDO

Ironwood Ridge, Desert View at Flowing Wells (Silverbell)

Cross Country (@4:30)

Salpointe at Catalina Foothills

Palo Verde, Nogales at Marana

Rincon, St. Gregory at CDO

Sahuarita, Pueblo, Pusch Ridge at Desert View

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Empire at Marana (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

CDO at Queen Creek

Cienega at Mountain View

Sahuaro at Catalina Foothills

Walden Grove at Pusch Ridge

Thursday, September 18

Girls Golf

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Boys Golf

Sahuaro and Salpointe at Ironwood Ridge

CDO, Rincon, Sunnyside at Tucson High

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Marana at Sahuarita

Ironwood Ridge at Sahuaro (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

Catalina Foothills at Rincon

Pusch Ridge at San Manuel

Swimming (4 p.m.)

Marana vs. Tucson at Quincy Douglas Pool

Cienega at Marana

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Amphi

Catalina Foothills at Sahuaro

Freshman Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Flowing Wells at Marana (4 p.m.)

Desert View at Mountain View

Cienega at CDO

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

JV Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Amphi at Marana

Santa Cruz Valley at Pusch Ridge

Mountain View at Desert View

CDO at Cienega

Buena at Ironwood Ridge

Sahuarita at Catalina Foothills

Friday, September 19

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge at Mt. Carmel Invitational (San Diego, CA)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions

Football (@7 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at Santa Cruz Valley

Catalina at Marana

Desert Vista at Mountain View

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Cienega at CDO

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

Saturday, September 20

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Marana at Old Pueblo Invite(Lincoln Park)

Mountain View at San Diego

Catalina Foothills, CDO at Ojo Rojo (Chandler, AZ)


Marana at Wolves Classic (Chandler High)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions


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