Drilling the young'uns...

Chawn Martin puts youngsters through their paces during the 2019 Hoop Drills and Life Skills Camp that was held at the Herb Sims Center in Bluefield.  The camp was not held in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic but returns in 2021 next week. This year’s camp will be held at Bluefield High School.

BLUEFIELD — If boys and girls want to play basketball, they need to learn how to properly dribble, pass and shoot the ball — along with an ever-growing assortment of other court skills. 

If kids  want to play high school basketball one day — maybe even play in college — there are all kinds of things kids need to learn off the court. Taking care of grades, for one thing. The social skills needed to become a good friend and teammate, for another. To say nothing of all the things a young person needs to learn to take good physical and emotional care of themselves. 

Next week, CASEWV/Project Yes and the Bluefield High School boys basketball team will put on a series of classes for young people that covers all those things.

The annual Hoop Drills & Life Skills Summer Camp returns to Bluefield next week, returning the area’s most popular youth basketball camp to the community for the first time since 2019. The 2020 edition was lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is the 11th year we’ve had it. It’s grown into the biggest basketball camp in the area,” said Bluefield boys basketball head coach Buster Large.

“There’s kids coming in from both states — Welch, Richlands, Bluefield, Virginia and Tazewell, Princeton and Beckley. It’s really, really good. It’s about basketball, but it’s also about life skills ... doing what is right with your mom and dad and your teachers ... setting goals for yourself ... reaching personal accomplishments. Everything that you can imagine that will make you a better student-athlete — we teach at the camp, “ Large said.

In past years, the program held at the Herb Sims Center. This year, it will be conducted at Bluefield High School.  It is offered free of charge to the first 100 young people to register. Eligible participants range from eight years of age to 14 years old. Perks include a free T-shirt, a free basketball and a free goody bag. Free lunch, free snacks and free water are provided every session.

The camp, which is held from 12 noon until 4 p.m. daily, begins on Monday July 26  and runs through Thursday, July 29. Primary athletic instruction will be provided by Large and his staff, including Tony Webster, Jody Fuller and Doug Miller.  Also members of the Bluefield boys basketball team will help the coaches out.

The program will also bring in assorted guest speakers to address campers. Several already lined up for the camp include Bluefield State Athletic Director Derrick Price and Bluefield College head basketball coach Richard Morgan and Jim Pettus of CASEWV.

“We’re still lining up some other guests, but everything will be ready to roll on Monday,” said Large, who noted that may of Bluefield High School’s greatest basketball players in recent years were alumni of past Hoop Drills & Life Skills camps.

To inquire about registration or for more information, contact Large at (304) 320-7531.



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