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Date of Issue: June 29, 2006

Island youth 'driven' to basketball success

Young players are honing their skills at the Anna Maria Island Community Center’s second annual summer basketball camp titled "Driven."

The advanced version of the basketball camp focuses on some techniques that players may have not learned during regular season play and gives them the conditioning they need to be better players.

 This two-week camp focuses on an array of drills helping to improve defense, offense, sportsmanship, independent thinking, ball handling and shooting, all the while teaching the player to have fun with the game.

With close to 20 players attending daily, the campers get intense coaching on the more advanced tactics and strategies of basketball. "Driven" camp runs Monday through Friday from noon to 2 p.m. and is organized by the Center’s sports director, Andy Jonatzke.

Jonatzke said, "The main goal of the camp is to get the kids to realize that if they put in the effort, they can accomplish anything. We want them to have fun, but also learn a lot along the way."

The motto for the camp is to "be driven and committed" to become a better basketball player, not only in the physical aspects of basketball, like shooting and playing defense, but by encouragement to have a good attitude, display sportsmanship and to think independently and make good decisions on and off the court.

On top of learning the basics and new skills, the players are split into teams to compete in scrimmages every day. Conditioning and the importance of warming up and stretching are also stressed.

Another popular part of the camp is the "hot-shot" competition at the end of each day, when each player has one minute to score as many points as he/she can by making baskets from various locations on the court that are marked with varying point values.

At the end of the camp, awards will be given out for the overall winner of the "hot-shot" competition, best defensive player, best sportsmanship and the most improved player.

For more info on the Center’s summer basketball camp, contact Jonatzke at 778-1908.