TYLER, Texas (KETK) – The summer months mean it’s time for summer camps, and the UT Tyler men’s basketball team is teaching young players the basic fundamentals while growing the game right here in East Texas.
“I really like to be here, just have an opportunity to just get better at something that I’m not really good at,” says 8th grader Jada McCormick.
The patriot players and coaches are pouring into the next generation, teaching them the basics of basketball.
“I learned jab step, jump stop, and some other dribble moves,” tells 8th grader Malique Masemburge.
“They are just teaching you the basics of how you dribble, shoot and just the basics of how to play,” adds McCormick.
“I’ve been learning jab step, jump stop and we did something I can remember what its called but it was really cool,” smiles 9th grader Abby Graham.
In one part of the camp the players scrimmaged, and the intensity was through the roof.
“The kids are having a great time learning how to play and learning how to compete, they’re learning about what’s important about teamwork and they’re learning fundamentals,” explains Head Coach Louis Wilson. “I think it’s an absolute joy both to perform as a coach and for these kids to attend these camps.”
For girls like McCormick and Graham, going against boys is helping them evolve their game.
“It’s like more aggressive as it goes on, so I like playing against boys because it’s more aggressive and you learn to move more quickly and just as aggressive as them,” tells Graham.
“It just gets me better and gets me more physical and helps them get better,” adds McCormick.
A big part the coaching staff wants to instill in these campers is teamwork.
“When my teammates mess up a little bit, I just tell them what to do right and how to do things better and with the other team, I always try to have good sportsmanship after the game,” says Masemburge.
“It’s like just meeting new people and just helping them if they don’t know anything kind of like that,” says McCormick.
The most important thing Wilson wants campers to take away is this:
“The skill of having fun, enjoyment. Joyous in your heart with the game of basketball, if these kids walk away with nothing else except that they have a love for the game and compete and enjoying that aspect, then we will have achieved exactly what we wanted.”Head Coach Louis Wilson
The camp continues through the end of the week, as the Pats continue to invest their time into these young East Texas athletes.