Hoops in the heat

By Staff
Summer basketball program helps keep Lady Hawks ready for next season
Justin Schuver, Hartselle Enquirer
The NBA's Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat aren't the only teams still playing basketball in June. At Danville High School, new head girls varsity coach Paul Wilson is keeping his girls in shape and giving them a chance to retain their basketball skills even in the hot summer months.
The Lady Hawks are hosting a summer basketball program during the month of June. The program, made possible by a recent ruling by the Alabama High School Athletic Association, allows for Danville to host several high schools at its gym for competition.
The games are much different from regular-season winter games. Each summer game consists of two 15-minute halves with running clocks except for the last minute of the second half. Also, in the case of a foul, only one free throw is awarded but it is worth two points if made.
"I think the girls like it because it allows us to get in eight games in a day but still get everyone home at a decent hour," Wilson said. "They like it because it's a quick-paced game, and they don't have to spend all their time shooting free throws."
The sessions are each Tuesday and Thursday in June, except for June 20 and 29. The schools who will participate in the program are Haleyville, Lexington, Vinemont, Dora, Ardmore, Colbert Heights, Meek, Winfield, Elkmont, Madison Academy and Guntersville in addition to the host school Danville. Danville hosts three teams each session, with some schools making one visit and some schools (such as Meek) making as many as three visits.
Back on June 8, Danville and Dora played in one of the fast-paced games, with the Lady Hawks coming out on top 25-17. The teams participated as if they were competing in a regular season contest, using substitutions and timeouts, although they wore practice jerseys rather than their game uniforms.
Danville's summer basketball program was created to take advantage of a ruling in 2004 by the AHSAA, which allows schools to participate in seven days of practice competition during the summer period (defined as the day school lets out until Aug. 1). Danville hosted a similar program last year and Wilson said the turnout and results were positive.
"In the old system, you had one team camp and you'd get in eight games if you were lucky," the Danville coach said. "This year, we're playing 19 ball games, and we can get a lot more teams in here and give us a chance to see how we stack up against different competition."
Wilson said the summer program is better for the visiting schools as well, because it is much cheaper and teams are able to arrive and leave the same day rather than needing to deal with finding hotels. He said that Danville High School charges $30 per team, rather than camp fees that can cost upwards of $100 a head plus a normal team fee.
The games are open to the public with an admission fee of $2 per day. Concessions are available and sessions for the rest of the month will be approximately 4:30 p.m. to 8:15 p.m.

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