Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local Sports

June 25, 2014

Youth learn fundamentals at BSC basketball camp

BLUEFIELD — The sounds of bouncing balls, squeaking sneakers on hardwood and coaches whistles has permeated the usual summer silence of the Ned Shott Gymnasium this week. The Coach J.J. Oliver Basketball Camp has attracted more than 60 boys and girls ages  5-15 for instruction and fun.

Oliver, the women’s basketball coach at Bluefield State College is putting the young hoopsters through drills this week, assisted by area players and coaches from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.

“It’s a fundamental basketball camp and we’re teaching them the fundamentals of basketball and how to play the game right, and giving them an opportunity to win some things in competition and trying to embrace the community, give a good breeding ground for them to have a good foundation to g back to their high school teams, middle school teams and rec league teams and be able to play to the best of their abilities,” Oliver said.

A stickler for fundamentals with his Lady Blues team, Oliver described the daily routine at the camp.

“We have a very rigorous first half of the day. It’s totally on fundamentals and we give them an opportunity in the afternoon to get involved in some competition and actual five-on-five play,” Oliver said. “From 9 a.m. till noon we’re station work. We actually take them through a lot of the agilities and exercises that our team does and we take them through some of the drills our team does.

“We come back from lunch and we have a mass teaching session where we kind of pt together some of the things that we learned in the fundamental periods and show them how you take that drill work and put it into actual play.”

Oliver has members of the Lady Blues team and his assistant coach Lakiesha White assisting plus some others.

“We’ve got some Lady Blues in there, we’ve got some Big Blues in there, we’ve got some Bluefield Beavers in there who are helping us. We’ve got a Bluefield (College) Ram too,” Oliver commented.

There are campers who have returned and whole teams who are represented at this year’s camp and according to Oliver, it is hard work.

“It’s pretty rigorous. We’re not a camp that baby-sits. We work them really hard and I think you can ask any of our parents... We’ve got a lot of repeat business from last year,” Oliver said.

“We have one mother who had to organize an AAU team for her daughter and she brought 12 people here. We have a kid from Peterstown. She and her mom were so impressed last year that they brought about five people from Peterstown this year. We’ve got a boys AAU team, the Tri City Rams, who just won a tournament they competed in last week. We’ve got boys and girls from beginner to a pretty good stage and we work with all of them and try to make them a better player when they leave.”

The campers had a bit of relaxation time Wednesday as after their afternoon session they were treated to a swim party at the pool in the Ned Shott Gymnasium. The camp concludes today with an awards ceremony beginning at 4 p.m.

— Contact Bob Redd at, Twitter @bdtredd

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