Out On The Edge

Summer camps to help brush up on hoop skills


Want to give the kids some much-needed recreation and exercise by dragging them away from the video games and boob tubes this summer?

If so, some of the best options are to enroll them in several upcoming basketball camps.

Two local day camps will be conducted by Payson High School coach Randy Wilcox. Another the Arizona Sports Camp will be held on the campus of Yavapai College in Prescott.

Local youngsters, including former Lady Longhorn star Colleen Hale, have been flocking to Prescott to attend Arizona Sports Camp for the past several years.

Wilcox's camps will be in their first year of existence.

The Payson High coach promises his local camps will provide all the hoop instruction and discipline it takes for fledgling players to master the nuances of the sport. By focusing on fundamentals, Wilcox and his staff will help the youngsters improve their shooting, dribbling, passing and defensive skills.

In addition to skill-building drills, half court and full court games will be played.

The camp will also feature light-hearted moments that go a long way in helping make basketball a game youngsters enjoy participating in.

For youngsters set on trying out for middle school or high school teams, the camps also offer excellent opportunities to learn the Longhorn system and what will be expected of them next season.

The first camp session, June 12 to 16, will be for boys entering grades four, five and six next school year.

The second session, June 19 to 23, is for boys in grades seven, eight and nine.

Hours of both sessions are 1 to 3 p.m. in the old gymnasium at Payson High School.

Registration, at $25 per player, continues until May 31 at the Payson Parks and Recreation Department, 1000 W. Country Club Drive at Green Valley Park.

Wilcox urges prospective campers to register as soon as possible because the sessions will be limited in numbers to allow for more individualized instruction.

To participate, the youngsters need only to come dressed in T-shirt, shorts and gym shoes. Call 474-5242, ext. 7 for more information.

More hoop

For even more time on the hardwood, parents might consider sending their hoop hopefuls packing to the 39th Annual Arizona Sports Camp. It bills itself as the "Best Fundamental Camp in the Country."

ASC has long been extremely popular with the younger

group of players elementary and junior high who are just learning the game.

Held on the campus of Yavapai College, the camp features three boys' sessions and one for the girls.

Boys camps are held June 19-23, June 26-30 and July 3-7.

The girls' session is slated for July 10-14.

Youngsters in grades three to 12 are eligible to participate.

While attending the camp, youngsters reside on campus in Supai Hall and receive meals in the college cafeteria.

The camp fee is $310 for the week which includes three on-floor instruction sessions each day, daily classroom sessions, video-taped analysis, a full-time trainer, T-shirt, clinic book and room and board.

Campers also have optional access to the school's swimming pool.

One of the three camp directors to be present is highly successful Mesa Mountain View High School coach Gary Ernst. With a summer home in Payson, he's no stranger in the Rim country. Ernst promises the sports camp will provide a unique experience for campers eager to improve their skills in basketball.

He also said the camp is highly organized for the purpose of providing instruction, discipline and supervision.

Others on the staff include high school coaches from around the state. NBA referee Tommy Nunez also makes guest appearances at the camp sessions.

Call Ernst at 480-835-6485 for more information.

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