Monday was the first day of summer basketball in Craig, with the upcoming generation of Bulldogs working on their skills.
High school boys head coach Eric Hamilton, along with other coaches and players from the Moffat County basketball program, began the youth basketball mini-camp Monday, teaching elementary and middle school students the fundamentals and keys to being successful in hoops.
There were 28 boys entering fourth- through eighth-grade in Craig who turned up to work on their game at the camp’s first day Monday. A good percentage of them had a developing basketball skill set already, Hamilton said.
“There were a lot of really good players here,” he said. “I was impressed with the level of play we had.”
The youth players came to the camp with a wide variety of experience and skill levels but one similar goal — to get better.
“I came because I want to be better at basketball,” said Justin Dugan, who will be an eighth-grader at Craig Middle School in the fall. “I’m hoping to get better on defense, especially.”
The camp focuses on the basics of basketball and building a foundation to become a strong player. On day one, it was about shooting form, crisp passing and controlling the ball.
Even as the rest of the camp goes on and players get more comfortable, it will remain focused on the basic skills that will help any player hold his own on the court, Hamilton said.
Another key tenant of the three-day camp is intensity. Similar to the Moffat County boys basketball team last season, the summer program holds energy and hustle at a premium.
“It is a lot of work,” Dugan said of the first day. “They had us going the entire time.”
Hard work is a premium for Hamilton, and he liked what he saw from a group of young kids who were willing to give it 100 percent on the first day. He also was pleased with the large group of varsity players who showed up to help with the camp during their own busy summer basketball schedules.
“It really helps the younger kids (having high school players here),” Hamilton said. “I think they did a good job today. But it also helps our guys focus on what they need to do. They don’t do all these drills perfectly all the time, so it gets that back into their heads. Plus, the kids love the big guys. They look up to them so much.”
Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 970-875-1795 or firstname.lastname@example.org