CMS hosts youth basketball camp

Growing the game of basketball in Chilton County was the primary objective for Clanton Middle School head coach Thomas Hughes during his camp June 5-7.

According to Hughes, it had been the first youth basketball camp held at CMS or CCHS in nearly a decade.

The “Hand-ball” camp was named after former coach Donnie Hand, who ran the last camp held.

Hughes remembers attending the camp growing up and used that as a model.

“When I went through the camp, it was all about getting the youth involved and teaching them some of the lessons that you get from basketball,” Hughes said.

The camp focused on fundamentals that included ball-handling skills, such as dribbling with each hand and crossover moves.

Different types of layups and shooting were also taught throughout the three days.

“They’re all competitive and out here trying to get better,” Hughes said.

About 40 kids took part in the camp and ranged from ages 8 to 14. It is a balancing act with the various age groups and skill levels.

“I’ve tried to put specific people with them that understand their needs,” Hughes said.

Current high school players provided a helping hand as coaches during the camp.

According to Hughes, the interaction between the younger players and those at the high school level is a good thing for both sides.

“It gives them [youth] somebody to look up to,” Hughes said. “It’s a great game and a lot of fun.”

Camp participants not only learned new techniques, but also what it means to have respect for the game.

“I teach my players that you let your game speak,” Hughes said. “If you work hard every day, it is going to make you better no matter what you do in life.”

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