For the second straight year, the University of Northern British Columbia is teaching the city’s young basketball players about both the fun and fundamentals of the game.
Todd Jordan, UNBC’s head men’s basketball coach spent three days in Prince Rupert from July 4 - 7, where he ran the second annual Junior Timberwolves basketball camp. Jordan ran the young athletes through a series of drills designed to help them improve their passing, dribbling and shooting.
“It is nice in the summers. We get an opportunity to come in and kind of go back to where kids just started the game and were having fun,” he said. “There’s something about a young kid in the gym playing basketball that’s pretty pure so it’s special being a part of that.”
Jordan spent morning sessions with younger athletes in Grades 2-5 and the afternoon session with athletes in Grades 6-9. He said while the emphasis was on teaching basic skills of the game, he wanted make sure the youngest players were having a good time first and foremost.
“For a lot of those kids, they’re within the first one or two years of touching or playing basketball,” he said. “So we just want to make sure they have fun playing the game and hopefully they learn a few things as far as fundamentals.”
For the older athletes, Jordan said the fundamentals became more of a focus.
“Obviously, it’s a little more serious as far as the teaching and getting them to execute things at a bit higher level,” he said.
Fourteen-year-old Rylan Adams said he has been playing basketball for eight years. He said the drills and instruction he received during the sessions helped him to improve on weaknesses he felt he had in his game like his defense, and helped him to get better at shooting.
“I learned perfect form,” Adams said. “I learned my triple threat position and good footwork for when I go up for a shot.”
Jordan said he enjoyed coming to Northern B.C. to help develop young talent. The camp was successfully organized in conjunction with the Prince Rupert Minor Basketball Association and he is hopeful that he will be able to return to continue running clinics like this one.
“Hopefully it will continue to happen,” he said.