Although Bill Farrell has retired as a highly successful basketball coach, it’s plainly obvious he continues to harbor a deeply seeded passion for the sport.
He says he feeds the passion by hosting several youth hoop camps during Payson school district spring breaks, fall breaks and the summer months.
The next camp begins Monday, June 10 and continues 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. until June 13 in Wilson Dome.
All camps are among the most popular Town of Payson Parks, Recreation and Tourism offerings, attracting as many of 70 aspiring players — both boys and girls — to the each of the four-day sessions.
Farrell’s passion for the sport turns obvious when watching him preach the fundamentals of footwork, ball handling, passing and catching, dribbling and dribble moves, shooting, rebounding and defense.
He also focuses on the mental aspects of the game including attitudes or what he calls “The Right Stuff” — making the good player great and helping the players who come off the bench to become tremendous assets to their team.
Also, it’s not unusual for him during camp hours to stress academics, conditioning, nutrition and having an individual practice plan.
Anyone who talks to Farrell at any length realizes he is also a huge proponent of using the sport to build character in boys and young men.
Those who know Farrell well say his underlying commitment to the sport is to teach the core values of integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership.
Most importantly about Farrell is that he obviously is an “old school” coach who stresses fundamentals and discipline, much like some other of Arizona’s coaching legends.
In retirement, Farrell is one of the most respected names in prep basketball circles, having reaped about every coaching honor possible.
He was the state’s boys basketball coach of the year in 1995 and 1997 and has won numerous regional coach of the year honors.
At Paradise Valley High School, Farrell’s teams won two titles in three seasons in 4A, taking the 1995 and 1997 championships. The 1997 team finished 29-2 while the 1995 team went 29-4.
During his prep career, he coached three high school All-Americans and a state player of the year.
On Dec. 2, 2005, the Paradise Valley High School gymnasium was renamed in honor of Farrell.
He has also worked as an assistant director at the prestigious Phoenix Suns camps of John McLeod and Cotton Fitzsimmons.
The camp is open to aspiring players entering the third through ninth grades.
The fee is $40, which includes a camp T-shirt.
To learn more, contact the Payson Parks, Recreation and Tourism Office at (928) 474-5242, extension 7.