EL CENTRO – The Southwest girls’ Varsity basketball team concluded its children’s summer basketball camp June 29 after the Lady Eagles shared their skills with the community, learned coaching strategies, and raised funds for offseason camps and tournaments of their own.
The camp began June 26 and ran from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. through Thursday. Throughout the week, the student athletes shared tips and basic techniques with kids ranging from four years old to incoming freshmen.
“It teaches them how to become a coach,” said Patsy Enders, Southwest Varsity girls’ head basketball coach.
The program was set up so each player taught a certain skill in their groups, and every 20 minutes, the groups rotated to switch from passing and shooting, to dribbling, and then defense.
“We teach them how to do a proper layup and basic skills so that they can get a little taste of what It’s like to play organized basketball,” shared Yolanda Aguilar, a junior forward with the Eagles. “Some kids who have participated in previous years already know the rundown and the basics, so by now all they want to do is come out here and play.”
Many of the current players teaching have participated in these camps as youngsters.
“When I was little, I would participate in summer sports camps and I found that It’s always good to come out and compete against kids you’ve never even seen play before,” said Jannelle Sanchez, a junior guard, and one of the coaches. “These camps especially contributed to my dribbling abilities.”
Seeing and working with each other every day during the summer also gives the Lady Eagles a unique opportunity to polish up the intangible chemistry that evolves throughout the offseason.
“During camp, we get to bond, work on our communication to become a stronger family,” explained Karissa Magana, a senior guard with the Eagles.
Even athletes who came to visit family from out of state returned to participate in the Lady Eagles’ kids summer basketball camp this year.
“I came and did a winter camp before, and really liked the atmosphere,” said Laylani Gonzalez, a Kansas City Park Hill South junior. “Basketball is more passionate here – these girls do multiple athletics aside from basketball to get better, such as cross fit. Back home, it’s more one dimensional,” she added.
“There are so many things that you get out of athletics,” said Enders. “For example, when you’re in school, you have to make certain grades to get on a team. Having responsibilities are things that they are going to have to be faced with in life. We always tell the kids that there is a big picture to everything, and the way you behave here, we’re hoping, carries on for them in the future,” closed Enders.