Smiles, skills focus for Trinity hoops campers

Fourth-grader Madison Keith said she enjoyed attending the Trinity Lutheran girls basketball camp so much last year that she decided to come back this year to improve her basketball skills.

“I’m trying to get better at my basketball skills,” she said. “I like shooting. I can shoot layups, but I’m not very good at them. I like to play one-on-one.

For Rose Kruse, it is the first year she attended the camp and said the reason she decided to attend is because her older brother, Ross, attends Trinity Lutheran High School.

Rose, 7, said she wanted to work on her shooting and her dribbling at the camp.

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“I like the shooting. Its fun,” she said after completing a shooting drill Wednesday in the Bollinger Athletic Complex. “I like shooting free throws and layups.”

Kruse, who is going into second grade at Immanuel Lutheran School, said she also plans to attend a volleyball camp.

Trinity coach Mike Lang said 17 girls, grades second through seventh, attended the four-day camp.

“We taught the fundamentals of the game,” he said. “For two hours you’ve really got to work on attention spans with the kids, so we worked a lot on fundamentals. We put a lot of contests in for them to keep them going.

“The thing is, a lot of people like to come to camps, and we wanted to put a different approach to it at times, and put some defensive emphasis into what we were doing this week.”

In one defensive drill, Lang and some of the high school players worked with the campers on sliding their feet laterally.

“That’s what we do with the high school girls, and we like to one day come in and do it with the campers, and the girls like to teach it,” Lang said.

“The camp gives the kids a really good chance to interact with our players, and our players did a great job this week of teaching them the drills that we do, and all the stations.”

During a break Thursday, the campers received gift cards and camp T-shirts, and at the end of camp they received treats.

“You want them to walk out of the gym with a smile on their face, and you want them to come back the next day and say they had fun,” Lang said. “Every camper we had they left with a smile on their face. They all had fun; they all looked forward to coming back.

“It was really great having coach (Donna) Sullivan in here running camp the first couple days with the young kids, and it gave me a chance to work with the older kids one-on-one. It was a neat aspect and we had a lot of fun this week.”

Arv Koontz is a sports correspondent for The (Seymour) Tribune.