Cope and TPRD hosts 11th annual basketball camp

Published 7:19 pm Thursday, July 25, 2019

The 11th annual Troy Parks and Recreation Basketball Camp came to a close on Wednesday morning at the Troy Recreation Center.

Over 50 participants visited the recreation center for the three-day camp to learn the finer details of the sport of basketball.

“It was a great camp,” said Camp Director Justin Cope. “The kids varied throughout the week, but the kids had a lot of fun.”

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In years past, the camp lasted a week; but due to various other activities, this year’s camp lasted three days. That didn’t decrease the amount of fun had by the campers though.

“The kids are already looking forward to next year,” Cope said. “We had a lot of new kids that came out. We have seen kids come back and it’s always the same happy faces. The biggest thing I saw was how much the kids have grown in basketball.”

Since the camp started this week, Cope has had numerous messages from parents stating that after each day of the camp, their kids went home and continued to practice.

Each practice featured key fundamentals before they ended the day with a scrimmage.

“We worked on everything from ball handling to shooting and defense,” Cope said. “We tried to do two elements of the game each and every day. We broke them up into different groups and we concentrated on each skill and we made sure they did those skills correctly.”

After just a few days of practice, Cope always enjoys to see the children’s improvement during the camp.

“I love to see how much from Monday until Friday, the kids evolved during those days. On Monday, they may not have even been able to put the ball on the rim and then on Thursday and Friday they are making every layup and learning how to dribble with their eyes up.”

The camp encouraged the participants to play as a team and not just by themselves.

The camp was more than just basketball. Cope and his staff spoke on the importance of good grades and work ethic.

“It’s a great way to give back to the community. It teaches the kids about good grades and having great character. One parent told me it’s a great way to teach work ethic. It pushes the kids to work hart. It’s not just a vacation.”

When the camp first started in 2008 there were just over 40 campers. Now 11 years later, the camp continues to see an increase in numbers.

“One year we had over 100 kids,” Cope said. “I want to give back to the community and give the kids something positive to do. It started in 2008 when a parent just suggested it. It started with 42 kids and then went to over 60 and then 70.”

Next summer’s camp is already in the works and whether it’s just for one day or seven days, Cope is ready to make the community happy.

“I always try to do it,” Cope said. “One day is better than no days. It’s something that I know they love doing. It’s a good thing for the community.”