Coming off one of the program’s most successful seasons, the Glynn Academy girls saw an influx of future Terrors at its youth basketball camp Friday.
Under the direction of second-year head coach Sharnesha Smith, Glynn Academy went 26-5 en route to its first region title since 1995 and an appearance in the Class 6A quarterfinals.
One of the results of the Terrors’ tremendous season was a boon in attendance at its second annual girls youth basketball camp.
“The numbers are definitely booming,” Smith said. “We’ve got about 47 here today, so that’s pretty good.”
Smith noted how she and others in the program have received praise from the local community since the season ended, but there is likely no better validation of her process than a camp full of young players eager to learn.
And learn they did. Campers from grades 3-9 received hands-on training from Smith and members of the Terrors’ basketball team.
First on the docket at the camp: A workout focused on improving agility followed by competitive drills alternated between fundamental work at various stations.
“We’re doing different things here, first and foremost, the fundamentals are huge,” Smith said. “I think there’s a lack in basketball, just across any age level. So we’ve been focusing on that, just the ball-handling aspect, how to make a good pass, the correct form of passing, the correct form of shooting, and then we let them have a little bit of fun too.”
The fun came in the form of a hot shot competition that gave campers the opportunity to win prizes, and some creative team-building exercises near the end of the day.
Smith broke the campers into teams and pitted them against one another in a battle to see who was able to slide a cookie down their forehead and into their mouth, without the use of their hands, in a one-minute span. Campers whooped and laughed as they watched and try to direct their teammates.
The next exercise involved rolling an egg across the gym floor and into the target area without touching the egg and using nothing but empty pizza boxes leftover from the campers’ lunch of Lil Caesars.
Another saw the campers attempt to carry cotton balls across the court with just a bit of adhesive on their noses and deliver it to a teammate waiting on the other side.
But outside of some team-building fun near the end of the day, the Glynn Academy camp focused on developing the basketball skills of every camper in attendance — especially the younger ones.
“It’s important for them to start as early as possible,” Smith said. “Having a third-grade level for us to start at is huge.
“I think a lot of people doubt that age and thinking, ‘Oh, they’re not going to pay attention,’ but we have some ball players in here who really play all the time, and who enjoy playing. That’s the thing: they’re very competitive too. Some of the third and fourth graders are more competitive than the older kids.”
Still competition wasn’t lacking from the older girls at the camp. Sporting camp T-shirts emblazoned with the slogan,”practice like a champion,” along with the phrase, “want nothing, earn everything,” the high-school-aged athletes worked closely with Smith during lunch time for the younger kids.
Passing and ball handling were a couple of the focal points Friday with more defensive worked planned for the second session of the two-day camp.
Grooming the next generation of basketball players will only promote the sustainability of the Terrors’ program.
“Obviously we’re trying to sustain as much as possible, and the growth that we’re having is even better,” Smith said.