Clackamas players promote girls' game at annual youth hoops camp
A few of the first-time campers looked a little lost on the first day of the Clackamas High School girls' basketball youth camp.
Jab step? What's a jab step?
Before the week was out, those same campers were dribbling, passing, shooting, rebounding, and, yes, jab stepping with the best of them during the annual skills development camp hosted by the Cavaliers' girls' basketball team.
This year's camp drew 31 players in grades 3-8 and was geared toward basic fundamentals, sportsmanship, team unity, and fun, with several Clackamas varsity players serving as instructors, and all of it under the supervision of Cavaliers' coach Korey Landolt.
"Our community is a pretty close-knit community, so it's nice for our high school players to give back and teach the next generation of players," Landolt said. "A lot of them remember being part of camps where they got to work with high school plays, so it's a really cool experience for these young kids to come in and not only learn something about fundamentals, but also just hang out with these kids."
Olivia Morris, the senior-to-be who played a key role in Clackamas' run to last year's Class 6A quarterfinals, said the camp took her back to the Clackamas Cage Camps of her youth.
"It's super-cool, because when I was young, I always looked up to those high school players and they were so old, so big, and so experienced," Morris said. "Now, to know that I'm one of those people, it's pretty crazy, but it's super-fun to come and work with all the kids.
"The kids are so great and they're so fun and they work so hard. It's just great to play with them and see them get better over the course of the week."
Landolt likes to think that most of the present-day campers will stick with basketball and someday make an impact at the high school level, whether that's at Clackamas or the new high school in Happy Valley that is expected to open in 2012 or somewhere else.
"You don't know what it's going to look like in a few years when the schools split, but it's still one community," she said. "And no matter what, these kids are going to be a part of this team or possibly the other team.
"I think that girls' basketball has to compete really hard with volleyball and soccer and a lot of other sports that want to play year round, so this is a really good opportunity for them to get some exposure in this sport."
Judging by the smiles on the players' faces -- both young and old -- the future of girls' basketball in Clackamas appears bright.