The Western women’s basketball team finished their basketball camp last week where they coached young girls during a five-day camp at the Wade King Student Recreation Center.
The team taught the girls the fundamentals of basketball including dribbling, shooting, footwork, defense and developing a player’s individual game. The entire team was required to help coach the girls, including the incoming freshmen.
“They [the basketball team] all get to be together, so they do a lot of team bonding,” Assistant Coach Stacey Turrell said. “We [the coaches] love this. The girls love it to get to know each other.”
Some of the basketball team members have previous coaching experience.
“I coached fifth-graders for my senior project and then I have been helping out doing the Western camp over the summer,” team captain and senior Kayla Bernsen said.
The camp is for girls in fifth-grade through high school who have an interest in honing their basketball skills. There is no skill level required to be able to attend, just a love for the game, Turrell said
“We usually have a waitlist,” Turrell said. “It is a pretty popular camp.”
There were about 120 girls who attended this year. Turrell said the number varies each year, but because of the Sam Carver Gymnasium remodel the camp had to take a smaller number this year.
“It’s really really cool to be able to [bond] with girls from basketball because they look up to you,” Bernsen said. “It’s super fun to be able to teach and hang out with younger girls who like basketball.”
The camp is high energy and coaches really try getting involved with the campers, Bernsen said.
The camp mixes it up between fun activities and learning the fundamentals, Bernsen said. During demonstrations, the coaches teach the girls fundamentals, then they break down into smaller groups to practice the skills learned. Each coach is in charge of 10-15 girls.
“I think it’s a really fun week,” Turrell said.
One of Bernsen’s favorite things about the camp is being able to interact with the girls on a more personal level and create a great bond, she said.
Taylor Peacocke, a team captain, also sees the benefit of teaching kids the sports she loves.
“Its kind of tough, especially when you’re coaching younger kids, but it’s really fun teaching other people something you love so much,” Peacocke said.