Though basketball season is nearly six months away, teams this month played summer leagues and went to camps before taking a month off before school starts.
“We have had a pretty good summer this year. We have been going to Swainsboro one day a week and have gone to a few team camps,” Bradwell Lady Tigers coach Faye Baker said.
Baker said that cutting the summer-league game travel down to just one day has helped the team.
“We usually play two to three games and have been splitting those games lately, but it’s getting our young players, freshmen and sophomores, a lot of game experience,” she said. “You can’t coach experience.”
Bradwell players also attended team camps at Georgia Southern, Georgia Tech and Savannah State.
The Lady Tigers have a strong veteran lineup heading into the 2013-14 campaign. A key returning player is rising senior point guard Shaquioa Crockett, who is being recruited by several colleges, including Georgia Tech and Jacksonville University. She also is playing for a highly touted AAU team from Jacksonville.
The coaches also have been keeping an eye on younger players.
“One of the most important things that we do during the summer is that we get an opportunity to see all of the eighth-graders that are zoned for Bradwell. We try to make contact with all the rising eighth-graders to give them a chance to get some experience before the season begins,” Baker said.
Though players have July off, Baker will run a basketball camp for ages 7-14 on July 8-11 at the Shuman Center. The camp is offered through the Liberty County Recreation Department.
Bradwell’s boys’ team members also has spent part of the summer playing on a variety of summer-league teams and recently returned from a team camp at Georgia Tech before finishing up June workouts.
Since most of First Presbyterian Christian Academy’s players play AAU with the Coastal Crew Rebels, the Highlanders summer-league games are a bit unorthodox.
Working around the AAU summer tournament season, FPCA played against area teams last week as part of a week-long summer league.
“We played at Bradwell and Liberty. We won a few games and lost a few games, but it was a great experience. We don’t get to play public schools during the year so during the summer we get an opportunity to play them. It is always fun,” FPCA assistant coach David Linderman said. “Summertime give us a chance to just play and not have to worry so much about the winning and losing just improving as a team to get us back to our ultimate goal, which is making a run at our fourth GISA state championship.”