Kids get in gear at Tiftarea basketball camp

Coach Mike Patrick (center) tries to keep up with fast and furious dribbling action from all corners.

CHULA — Today marks the end of Tiftarea Academy’s basketball camp, the first of many activities the school will host this summer.

Coach Mike Patrick estimated they had 65 in fold Monday morning, which was the opening session of the three-day camp. Patrick is running the camp with Amy Strenth. The duo serve as Tiftarea’s head basketball coaches during the school year.

Players were divided for part of the day into two groups: older kids, who drilled in the main gym and younger kids, who ran around in the old gym.

The youngest of athletes worked on the very basics of the game, dribbling around Patrick at the center of the court, or in some cases, running with the ball. Both groups had a shooting competition. The youth shot on lowered goals.

Players are working on passing, ball handling, running and, of course, shooting, said Strenth. She and Patrick will work together again next week for the physical education camp, which runs Tuesday-Thursday.

The camp had ample aid from Tiftarea basketball players, as well as from basketball assistant Rob Flick. One of Flick’s drills was for dexterity. He first had players to circle the ball around their head with their hands. Flick got them to do the same around their waist, then around a leg. The final step was to do all three.

To keep the camp running like a well-oiled machine, Patrick procured not just every single basketball available at Tiftarea, but seemingly branched out into Tift and adjacent counties to add to the supply.

Every single player had his or her own basketball at their disposal to use during the day.

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