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JCHS Basketball Camp introduces children to high school program

By Matt Hill

Kids of all ages gathered at Roan Creek Elementary School this week to participate in the JCHS Basketball Camp.
A large group of boys and girls were on hand to learn basic fundamentals and get accustomed to being in the high school program.
The camp was led this year by head boys coach Austin Atwood and head girls coach Todd Whittemore with assistant coaches Judd Shoun and Jeff Pardue helping out along with the high school boys players.
“It’s been another great year and I’m glad the youth like to come to it,” Atwood said. “It’s grown every year. It’s my 10th or 11th year and a lot of them are repeat campers. You know you’re doing something right. It’s given Coach Whittemore a chance to know his girls and has been a good thing for the girls program too. We’ve got a couple of first grade kids all the way up to seventh and eighth, not counting the high school girls that are here. I hope they learned a lot and helps our program and the girls program.”

They focused mainly on fundamentals with seven different stations and groups learning how to be complete basketball players.

“We’re doing a lot of defensive stuff, passing, catching, form shooting, how to post up and also we’re playing some games. They enjoy that. It’s worked out. I appreciate Mr. Mast and Principal Stafford letting us having it here,” Atwood said.
Just a few years ago, players like Dusty Stout and Jason Steele who are helping with the camp this year were coming to the Longhorn Camp. There is a great responsibility when it comes to being a role model to the younger children.

“It’s a good experience for our guys to interact with the young kids in the community because they really do look up to the high school players and I’m really pleased with my guys too for doing a good job of teaching. It’s tough coming here and giving four hours of your time and it puts some perspective on things,” Atwood said.

For Whittemore, this was his first main event as JCHS girls coach and he likes how the camp was run.

“Coach Atwood really breaks down the fundamentals and will breakdown the drills that we do in our stations and for up and coming kids they need to learn the fundamentals and I like that this whole camp is based on the fundamentals of basketball and you can never be a great basketball player if you don’t have the fundamentals down,” Whittemore said. “I really like how Coach Atwood and Coach Pardue break the camp down into different stations and really show individual fundamentals defensively and offensively.

Whittemore did bring his girls in for this camp to get stronger fundamentally.
“It gives them a head start because I can watch them and evaluate them and then I know what we need to work in practice. I’ve already seen improvement. The girls work hard, they really try and they really listen and if you do those things you give yourself a chance to get better.”

The campers were well behaved and everyone got along well.
“I think it’s a nice mixture and everybody gets along and nobody is picking on anybody and it seems like all the kids are ready to learn and ready to be serious about it,” Whittemore said.