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Hoops camp feeding on SK program's recent success
John Callaghan knows success breeds success.
Thats why his South Kitsap Summer Basketball Camp is once again booked full. It seems the kids want to be part of the high school teams success.
I think whats really nice is that a lot of these kids come to our games and they get a chance to see the guys that are playing right now, said Callaghan, the Wolves head coach, as last weeks camp came to a close. And then they actually get a chance to work with them at camp, so thats just a huge bonus for them.
Getting a chance to play basketball with a team coming off a second-place finish at the Class 4A state tournament may be the main draw but its also the recent run of four straight state tournament ap-pearances that has the kids coming in droves.
I dont think it hurts that weve been successful the last few years, Callaghan said. I think the main thing is that its fun. We have a good time. I mean, these kids are learning that they can work their butts off and have a good time doing it. Its not just a free tee-shirt and a free ball.
Callaghan, who runs the camp with assistant coach Darren Bowden and David Rodriguez, said each day of the five-day camp saw more than 100 campers, by the far the biggest camp yet in their seven years on the job.
We could take more, but if we do that well definitely have to have a couple more coaches, Callaghan said. We could definitely take a few more and we will. Were not going to turn anyone away. But it starts to lose some of the personal touch when you start getting into the bigger numbers.
Callaghan does have the help of his varsity players, who act as assistant coaches during the camp, learning and teaching along with the campers.
Theyre working out great, theyre doing a good job, Callaghan said. I think its as beneficial for them as it is the kids. They get to actually coach and teach the offense and fundamentals, which only re-enforces what they already do and already know. They might not admit it or think it, but they get as much benefit from coaching at the camp as do the campers.
Shannon Mackie, the ninth grade coach at Marcus Whitman was also on hand to help out.
Not everyone can make it or be involved in it, but for Shannon to be here is great, Callaghan said. He gets to work with some of his guys that are here. Thats a big bonus there and its fun for him as well.
But as with all the camps that South runs, the week was all about fundamentals.
If theres been a secret to our success its been that were pretty fundamentally sound, Callaghan said. And I think these guys understand that. The younger guys, they see the TV stuff but they understand that success on the basketball court is being able to do the fundamentals at a high speed. Thats the key.
Thats what were all about, Callaghan said. Picking up one or two fundamental skills a day, concentrating on that. But then we also get to play games and hope we incorporate what were trying to teach them into these games.
The campers also got a taste of Callaghans offense and terminology.
Even the terminology, the elbows, the blocks, the baseline, the free-throw line extended, all those terminologies are sinking right in, Callaghan said. Hopefully, as things just keep building and they move on up the ladder towards high school ball, we dont have to go over little things like that. Running our offense, even if they dont get it too well, just the terminology and knowing what it looks like, is going to help us down the road.
Its their turn, Callaghan said. Those guys all came to camp, they were all here and they all know it. Its their turn and one nice thing about our guys is that they understand that responsibility. Most of them do a great job. Theyre great role models, for lack of a better word, to our little guys.
And those little guys develop a relationship with these guys so next year when they come to the games theyll know each other, Callaghan said. And thats really fun.