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Berry: Hartselle hoops camp continues to grow

By Staff
Charles Prince, Hartselle Enquirer
One hundred and thirty-eight campers attended the week-long Hartselle Hoops Camp last week. The number of campers attending each year has grown steadily in the eight years Hartselle boy's basketball coach Johnny Berry has been running the camp.
"This is probably the average we get each year. One year we had a little over 150," Berry said. "The first year I did the camp with coach (Gary) Orr and coach (Keith) Wright we had about 60 or 62 kids. We've pretty much doubled in size over the last eight years."
The camp is so large it takes four gyms to hold all those attending. Besides the Pettey Center and a smaller gym on the Hartselle High campus, other campsites include the Burleson Elementary School gym and the Sparkman Civic Center gym.
"We've got the kids spread out so we can have individual instruction," Berry added. "We have three high school and junior high coaches at each site."
This year marked the third year girls were invited to attend the formerly boys only camp. The majority of the female campers were in the younger age groups. According to Berry, the number of girls attending the camp has grown each year.
"We've always allowed girls to attend if they asked to come," Berry said. "Now we advertise it as a camp for boys and girls both because we get so many girls attending now."
Players on both the boys and girls 2004-05 varsity teams at Hartselle helped instruct the campers and were spread out across the four locations.
According to campers, one of the most enjoyable parts of the camp is the "Simon says" drill, which tests a player's mental alertness. Players go through drills when Simon says, but are out if they do a drill without Simon saying so.
This year campers were introduced to a new piece of equipment which the varsity teams at Hartselle will use this year to improve their outside shooting.
The machine catches balls and sends them back to shooters positioned behind the three-point line.
A net is positioned below the basket and funnels balls to a machine, which passes the ball back out past the three-point line. The machine can be set to rotate so players can shoot from any angle behind the three-point arc. Each basket made puts the ball back into the netting and is then passed back out again by the machine.
According to Berry it's possible for a team to take 1,000 shots in a one-hour workout.
The apparatus was purchased by a joint effort of the Hartselle Booster Club, Berry and Hartselle girl's coach Greg Adams.