Youngsters jump at chance to shoot hoops

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The theory goes that the earlier a child is taught proper technique in athletics, the better. That is one of the reasons that Moffat Count High School girls basketball coach Matt Ray started a camp in the summer for young basketball hopefuls.

"I started it for the girls to have a chance to see who's interested," he said. "It also gives them and me something to do in the summer."

Ray wrapped up his first boys camp Thursday at Moffat County High School with a group of fourth- through eighth-graders. In the morning, he coached campers in kindergarten through third grade. Two weeks earlier, he hosted a girls camp.

" I'm very specific on mechanics during the camp," he said. "With the younger one,s we work on developing form and the older campers I try to fix form."

Brian Ivy, an eighth-grader next fall, said his form received some valuable work.

"(Ray) worked a lot with me on my left hand," he said. "He let us have a lot of fun."

Sixth-grader-to-be Adam Foster said his first day of camp surprised him.

"I couldn't breathe very good," he said. "If it's something you don't do often, it can be a surprise."

Foster said he learned a lot about ball handling and passing. He also won a knockout contest on the final day of the camp.

"If I weren't at the camp, I'd probably be playing video games at home," Foster said.

Ray's four-day camp cost $20 a camper. He had 25 campers in the girls camps and 18 in the boys camps.

"That's plenty for one coach," he said.

Next year, the plan is to expand the camps.

"I'd like to have another coach," Ray said. "We'll have to promote it a bit more."

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