SCC Basketball Academy Gets Rave Reviews
Heins Gym was alive with the sounds of squeaking sneakers, shrill whistles and the rhythmic thud of leather hitting hardwood.
Thirteen aspiring basketball players raced up and down the court, taking part in the first Sandhills Flyers Basketball Academy, a five-week program that meets twice a week. The academy focuses on teaching skills development while allowing participants to apply what they learn in a game situation.
"I'm a firm believer that if the kids get better at something then their self esteem goes up," said SCC athletic director and head basketball coach Aaron Denton.
The first Flyers Basketball Academy wrapped up play last week and the second is slated for Nov. 15 to Dec. 14. The camp will be twice a week with one day devoted to teaching basketball skills and the other dedicated to a game. Cost of the camp is $75.
Denton oversees the camp along with several of his SCC Flyers' players. It is open for boys and girls in grades 7-9. Space is limited and cost is $75 per player, which includes an SCC reversible jersey.
For more information on the academy, please contact Denton at (910) 246-4121 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Approximately 15 aspiring basketball players honed their skills during the first Flyers Basketball Academy.
For Denton the academy was a natural.
"We've always done clinics and camps, but this academy fills the gaps between recreation leagues and school teams," he said. "We always want to do things to get people involved and to get them to our campus and share SCC with the community."
Denton organized the academy with the help of Charles Bennett.
The response to the camp from players and parents has been awesome, Bennett said.
"The positive response," he said, "is proof positive that we are on the right track."
Courtney Evans agreed. A student a Union Pines, Evans was the lone female who participated in the most recent academy. She said she learned a lot and had a great time.
When asked if she thought she had improved her skills, she answered enthusiastically, "I did."
Her father, Chris, her longtime coach, agreed.
"She's picked up more and more," he said. "She was finally setting a pick and rolling (to the basket). I haven't been able to get her to do that for three or four years."
Denton said that skill development is a key attribute of the camp that makes it unique.
"Probably the biggest jump was from the second to the third week, and the overall improvement from week one to week five is like night and day. In week one for most of the players the speed of the game was overwhelming."
And the younger participants aren't the only ones who benefit. The players from SCC who participate as coaches and referees also learn a great deal.
"We get to see what coach (Denton) is telling us from a different perspective " said Hilary McLaurin, who coached one of the teams during the September academy.
"It was a lot of fun," said teammate and fellow coach Clay Thorne. "I hope we can do it again next time, and I hope there will be more players."
Contact Tom Embrey at email@example.com.
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