Kids got their chance to hone their basketball and life skills this week with a visit from Noah Dalhman and his ND42 youth basketball camp.
Dahlman is a professional basketball player who has been operating the camps in the United States since 2011. After a standout collegiate career at Wofford University in South Carolina, Dahlman has spent the last eight seasons playing in a number of European leagues, most recently coming off a championship season with Landstede Zwolle of the Dutch league.
Over the course of three days, participants from Grade 4-12 not only get a crash course in developing their basketball talents, but also receive a number of tools and tips they can use in their life and career goals.
|Dahlman says he takes away as much from the camps as the kids do. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)|
“If I just teach basketball I failed within the camp,” said Dahlman. “Everything we do, we try to relate something on the court and off the court. Something that they can practice on their own, and something that they can relate to the message that we’re talking about and apply it to their lives.”
Dahlman’s classes have evolved in approach and scope since the beginning, and this summer has 29 camps scheduled. His inspiration came from seeing how similar camps in the U.S. were conducted, and being disillusioned at some of their focuses. “I saw a disconnect with camps, as far as a dropoff and pickup process. It’s a culture of babysitting,” explained Dahlman.
|Dahlman is assisted by Kevin Bleeker and Sherron Dorsey-Walker, teammates of his with Landstede Zwolle of the Dutch basketball league. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)|
Having taken education classes at Wofford, Dahlman wanted to utilize both his basketball and teaching skills in his camps.
“At the high level camps, you just roll the ball out and play games with them the whole time. I’m using that special gift that I have to connect with the kids, and have them have an experience for the summer to learn something. You approach it with the heart of a teacher going into things.”
To that end, Dahlman focuses on three areas of conduct key to success in life: efficiency, personal conduct, and competition. Drills, games, and advice are all part of the program. A daily workout is also part of the routine, which Dahlman believes is especially important.
“I want them to get a sense that if you want to achieve something in life, it’s going to have to be hard. Because those are the things that are the most worthwhile,” said Dahlman.
|For most of the kids, this will be the first time they have had hands on experience with professional basketball players. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)|
A big part of Dahlman’s camp model is going to smaller towns and more remote areas. Most people would be hard pressed to recognize any of the towns on his U.S. portion of the tour.
“I like to come to places where it offers kids opportunities where maybe they haven’t ever worked with professional basketball players before.”
In addition to fitting the above criteria, Prince Rupert had another advantage to help draw Dahlman’s talents.
“My wife loves grizzly bears. So I was like, what’s the most populated grizzly bear area on the planet?” Dahlman had asked. The answer of course is the Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary just a short boat ride away.
Dahlman looked up the closest town, and was soon in touch with Prince Rupert to run his first camp in the north.
Learning about basketball’s popularity in the city, especially the All Native Tournament, confirmed that this was a place he needed to come explore.
“A lot of credit goes to the PRMBA [Prince Rupert Minor Basketball Association] for allowing us to come in, and Kerry [Crump, PRMBA president] for taking the chance on an email,” said Dahlman. “I think it really worked out and the kids enjoyed themselves. The community was great, everything about this place is special,” said Dahlman.
|While the lessons are serious, fun is a big focus at the ND42 camps. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)|
As Dahlman and his fellow assistant coaches packed up and prepared to make the next push to Bainville, Montana, he was sure to mention a final takeaway from the camps.
“It’s not just us teaching kids, we’re learning from this as well,” said Dahlman. “It’s going to make us better parents one day. It makes us better people. So it’s a two way street for sure.”
Alex Kurial | Sports Reporter
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