The Duncan Banner

Sports

June 24, 2014

Simmons Center holds basketball camp

DUNCAN — Focusing on fundamentals was the message to 33 kids from grades 3-12 that competed in the Oklahoma Basketball Academy camp at the Simmons Center Monday.

Before closing the camp, newly-hired Oklahoma Christian Academy girls coach, Joe Crawford, told the kids what they do in the summer is derivative to their success on the court in the winter. He told them that all of their opponents will have gone to basketball camps as well, but the difference will be who works the hardest. That’s why he wanted to work on the skills that players often don’t get to train during the season.

“The younger the kid, the more their fundamentals become important,” Crawford said. “If they can shoot solid, left-hand layups, right hand layups, pass and dribble they can play anywhere.”

Crawford said during the season the players are so focused on games that they don’t work on each individual skill. It happens during the summer too, where there’s not as much practice. This means the players don’t really get much better, because they only do the things they are already good at in games, he said.

“In most basketball camps they do games and different competitions,” Crawford said. “This is straight up skills. These are the same skills that we work with the WNBA players and college kids. It’s the same things we’re doing with these young kids and when they get it, they’re really good.”

Duncan freshman Grant Braught was one of the 16 players from grades 7-12 to participate in the camp. He said he’s going to play basketball next year and that the summer months are crucial to how a player performs during he season.

“It’s really the season to get better,” Braught said. “During the season, you really don’t get as much better as you could during the summer. In the season you’re mainly focusing on what your coach wants you to, instead of focusing on what you need to get better with.”

Another Duncan high school athlete, Andee Pitts said that her fundamentals improved dramatically by working with Crawford and assistant Eric McGee. She hopes it helps her when she plays for the Lady Demons later this year.

“It taught me a whole lot of things, better ball handling, how to shoot quicker, get the ball off quicker and just play good basketball,” Pitts said.

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