Basketball camp underway

Caleb Suggs

Hartselle Enquirer

 

As the first month of summer draws to a close, much of the focus at Hartselle High School has been on the budding basketball program at Hartselle high school. The excitement around the program has been at an all-time high as head varsity boys coach Faron Key enters his third year at the helm while the varsity girls look to build off their magical run to the state tournament.

So far, the two squads have been focused on summer ball as they have played and hosted various tournaments. The varsity boys have been riding on a high level of confidence as they have typically been one of the better teams on each of the play dates they have played. They have played well against tough teams from the area. “Summer is tricky because you’re always trying to see what the new guys can do. “We stumbled some when I was trying to find rotations that worked,” Key said “From an execution standpoint, I thought we played the way we played in practice, which is what you want.”

Meanwhile, the varsity girls have been trying to work out their depth. The Tigers return four starters off last year’s state tournament team, including star underclassmen Moriah Taylor and Anna Mathis. However, the lone starter lost was senior leader Kayla Key and the Tigers also lost Mary Jane Wooley and Anna Stinson who were very valuable assets coming off the bench. Despite this, Hartselle still has shown flashes of the team that was two games away from a state championship last season.

Now that summer ball is ending, the focus is starting to shift for the Tigers basketball program. “I believe you build a program from bottom up, not from the top down.” These are words that coach Key has started living by as he hosts Hartselle’s basketball camp along with head girl’s coach Gary Orr. The first camp, which is the kid’s basketball camp began on June 22 and ran through the 24th. In the kid’s camp, the campers start out going through drills that enhance footwork agility such as jumping rope, ladder drills and hurdles and then move into drills that work on ball handling and technique. The next session of the camp focuses on individual skills, which include driving and shooting. Then, the final session is when the kids go through competition drills, which Key describes as the most “lively” part of the day.  The campers also get to participate in fun drills and games such as basketball Simon says.

Through the first few days, coach Key felt that things were going very well. “We’re very excited about the camp as we have three different sessions,” Key said “The first session has gone good and the kids have been full of excitement.”

The other camps the kids would participate in are the shooting camp, which takes place June 27-28, and the advanced camp that takes place June 29-30. In the shooting camp, which promises to be one of the more exciting camps, players will be able to focus on the fundamentals and even advanced techniques of shooting the basketball. “The shooting camp is one that hits close to home for me,” Key said. “As a player, I know I loved to shoot the ball and I know several of the kids here feel the same way.” In the advanced camp, players will go through tougher drills and challenges that challenge their abilities as players.

Also helping with the camps are the Hartselle varsity boys and girls players themselves. The players split off and help at all drills so there is at least one player there at all times. “What’s funny about these players is there have been so many come to help that we really don’t have enough for them to do,” Key said. “I’ve been really proud that they choose to be here when they could skip out and go sleep or do other things.”

The message of the camps is the message Key has been preaching since his first day at Hartselle, which is invest. “I always use the bank analogy. If I go to withdraw money from the bank, I am only going to get out what I put in,” Key said. “The same message can be appliedto basketball.”

 

 

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