BY WENDI REARDON PRICE
Clarkston News Sports Writer
The young cagers took over the Clarkston Junior High School gym for Dare to Dream, last week.
Girls in grades third through ninth worked on their basketball skills while participating in drills and playing games.
“It’s going great,” said John Weyer, head coach for Clarkston Girls Varsity Basketball.
Due to the size of the gym, as the camp relocated to the junior high because the gym floor at Clarkston High School is currently being redone, the players were divided into three groups with third through fifth graders in one, sixth and seventh graders in the second group, and eighth and ninth graders in the third group.
“The kids are having a lot of fun,” Weyer said. “They are learning and working hard. Our coaching staff is basically the entire varsity team from last year. They know what they are doing and guiding them really well. The varsity players are doing a great job, too. “
He added it was important for the young campers to learn from the varsity players and form a connection with them.
“We had the varsity players run a drill where they were running and the girls were on the sidelines were watching the varsity players run – they were cheering for them. It got really exciting,” Weyer said. “Then, they played some lightning and they were cheering for their favorite coach. Also, you will see the coaches sit down for lunch and the girls will gravitate to them. It’s great.”
The camp kicked off with a visit from former Detroit Pistons player Don Reid.
“Now he works with special needs kids on his own,” Weyer said. “He was a great motivational speaker to kick off camp. He talked about coachability. He did an exercise where he had them working in groups and talking to each other.”
The campers worked more in groups on Wednesday for team bonding as they picked a partner and introduced themselves to each other and shared something special about themselves. Then, they shared it with the entire group.
“It was good,” Weyer added. “It shows leadership and communication. With basketball, you need to have that team spirit first. Then, you play for each other to play your best game. It’s something we always preach. I told them the same circle talk you are doing right now, we do at the varsity level. We try to build the teams that way.”
Dare to Dream is offered through Clarkston Community Education and Independence Township Parks, Recreation and Seniors. For more camps and programs, visit www.itprs.org.