Running, jumping, dribbling and shooting were the focus of the first Fundamentals Tip-Off Classic on Saturday at the St. James Sports Center.
According St. James’ sports director Ernie Walthour, 65 kids from fourth through eighth grades were on hand to learn the skills they need to become basketball stars.
“This was our first tip-off for our fundamentals camps, and we are working on all the fundamentals — doing ball drills, shooting drills — and teaching them the basic fundamentals of basketball right now,” Walthour said.
The campers were broken down by age groups, and each group participated in various drills according to skill level.
“The younger groups are working on basic fundamentals, like not dribbling with two hands, explaining to them what a walk or a double-dribble is and what is traveling,” Walthour said.
“But everyone participates in different shooting drills. For the older groups, we brought in a lot of former Rebels and Highlanders that are teaching more advanced skills. T.A. Alston, Tucory Rhodes, Derrick Nesbitt and Mike Brown are here teaching the college-level drills like how to come off a pick.”
Walthour said his friend, South Carolina Spurs AAU head coach Eddie Singleton, made the trip to give the older players some tips on what college recruiters are looking for in a player.
Singleton said the campers were addressed based on their speed and athleticism but added that the focus for everyone was “working on fundamentals to make them better basketball players.”
Walthour said he was surprised and pleased with the turnout.
“I’m very excited. It was our first camp, and it looks like we may have to move to a bigger venue next year based on the numbers we got,” he said. “I want to thank all the sponsors that helped us so we could give a free camp to the kids. And a special thanks to David Linderman for all the stuff he has done. He’s been great for us.”