Basketball team gets early start
In his second year as Tonganoxie High School's head basketball coach, Mike Webb held the Chieftain Fundamental Basketball Camp last week to help his team prepare for the upcoming season.
"Last year, there was so much new to say," Webb said. "This year the kids know what to expect."
The camp was last Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at the high school gymnasium.
Webb said that, as the name of the camp indicates, the focus during those three days was on the basics of basketball.
"We spent a little time on offensive and defensive plays, but we've mostly been working on the fundamentals," Webb said. "Things like layups and a lot of station work."
When they work in stations the 26 boys at the camp divide up into groups and do different drills to condition strength, agility, ball handling and other aspects of the game.
Webb said that some of the things he considered most important, things that he wanted to work on during the camp, were agility, conditioning, stretching, defense and ball handling.
But it wasn't all work for the boys at the camp. The coaching staff had many fun things planned, too.
Probably the biggest event at the camp was a mock NBA tournament.
Eight camp coaches took on the roles of general managers and drafted a team from camp participants.
Once teams were chosen, a tournament bracket was drawn up for the three-on-three tournament.
The eight teams then played each other in a three-day tournament.
Campers also participated in a free throw contest in which every camper got to shoot 15 free throws per night, with the winner being the player who made the most out of 45 by the end of the camp.
Coaches awarded prizes and trophies to the team on the last night of the camp for winning events or just by working hard and showing dedication.
Besides an award for the most valuable player at the camp, awards were also given for hustle, free throws and inspiration.
Webb said his team recognized how important the camp, and the fundamentals it was designed to teach, were in building a winning team.
"I've got kids that take camp so seriously they scheduled their three days off from work to be here," Webb said.
One player who Webb said showed a tremendous amount of dedication at the camp was Scott Breuer.
Breuer was one of the players who took time off his summer job to attend the camp.
"He has been here early every day, and he was the first to register for the camp," Webb said.
The grand finale of the camp was at the end of the last day, when the coaching staff surprised the players with banana splits and a water balloon fight.
But Webb couldn't have put the camp on himself. He had help from several dedicated people.
High school assistants Andy Gilner and David Walker were at the camp, as were junior high coaches Mark Mall and Larry Percy.
"For Mall and Percy it speaks volumes of their knowledge of what it takes to develop a junior high-high school program," Webb said.
Joining them in running the camp was team manager Brian Welsh and volunteer coach Bob Potter.
And though the season is still several months away, players and coaches are already chomping at the bit to play some basketball.
"We're really starting to develop chemistry," Webb said. "We're excited about playing and we're anxious to go."