Going camping: TPRD Basketball camp finishes up

Published 3:00 am Saturday, July 29, 2017

Basketballs were bouncing and players were sprinting as the Troy Recreation Center’s ninth annual basketball camp came to a close on Friday.

“We have had kids come from Charles Henderson, Pike County, Goshen, Zion Chapel and we had a kid this year come from Virginia,” said Justin Cope, who oversees the camp.  Nearly 80 youngsters participated this year.

“We had kids coming and going all week; it was a good turnout,” Cope said. “It’s special. We had a total of 79 show up and we had kids ask if they can come which was really cool. It lets you know how important this camp is for the kids. I don’t care if one comes or 100 comes we are all going to work hard.”

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Participants worked on fundamentals throughout the camp, and skill awards were presented on Friday.

“They had a blast,” Cope said. “We stressed fundamentals because it’s all about the little things. We talked about lay ups, free throws and defense, the basics of basketball. They worked on that and I saw a lot of improvement.

“Thing I love the most about this camp is seeing the kids improve from Monday to Friday,” Cope said. “Today (Friday) was one of those days when I saw big improvements. We saw kids that on Monday couldn’t handle the ball very well and today they were weaving in and out of traffic. I have seen a lot of kids come in the past and see how much they have grown and gotten better.”

Seeing kids break out of their comfort shell is another highlight for cope.

“The biggest thing is seeing kids break their shell and meet new friends,” Cope said. “There are a lot of things that you see on Monday that change by Friday.”

It wasn’t all work during the week. The kids enjoyed a pizza party and were able to participate in a tournament on Friday.

“The biggest thing I hear ever year is thank you,” Cope said. “Parents are going to tell you thank you and they just appreciate the time you spend with their kids.”

He hopes it will continue to grow.

“Lord willing,” Cope said. “Every year we try to get bigger and better. Next year will be the 10th year of us doing it, so I am trying to think of ideas.”