was a busy week for youth taking part in the Basketball Skills Development Camp at St. Thomas Aquinas High School. Students in Grades 9 to 12 took part in a morning session, while children in Grades 7 and 8 hit the court in the afternoon.
"We've been learning a lot of fundamental basketball, getting shots off quicker and improving your defense. Our coach gave us an article that has improvements you can do right away so we can get better overall for the season," said Brayden Martin. "I've really enjoyed the competitiveness that we have during drills."
The camp is being run by Coach Mitch Catacutan and the KCDSB's Jordan Mejia. Catacutan is the former head coach of the Providence College men's basketball team, he coached the Manitoba provincial girls' 16U team to a silver and bronze medal at the Western Canada Games, and he won a gold medal at the 2013 Manitoba Games as coach of the Winnipeg Gold Region.
"We've been trying to work on what makes a good basketball player, which is four things: skill, athletic ability, work ethic and basketball IQ," said Catacutan. "We're trying to touch upon all four points and I've seen their skills getting a little bit better each time. I always say you should try to come out of practice one per cent better and if you're one per cent better after every practice it will add up over time."
The basketball camp was offered in two sessions. The first was offered just to Grade 7 and 8 students from July 2-6 and was coached by Mejia and a few high school students. The second session was offered to Grade 7-12 students and ran from July 16-20. That session was coached by Catacutan and Mejia.
Molly Hendy is going into Grade 7 at St. Thomas Aquinas this September and she spoke about the camp.
"I've learned better skills for basketball and different techniques for shooting like using the backboard," she said.
Sean LaCombe is also going into Grade 7 and he said he enjoyed being coached by some of the high school students.
"I'll get to know them better and then be able to say hi in the halls," he said. LaCombe was also happy with how much he improved his skills.
"We get to learn new things and I've been really working on my lay-ups and shooting. I've also gotten better at putting the ball through my legs and also shooting better with one hand," he stated.
The final sports camp offered by the Kenora Catholic District School Board this summer is the Multi-Sports Camp for children in Grades 4 to 6. The camp will focus on three sports; volleyball, soccer and basketball. The camp runs August 20-24 at St. Thomas Aquinas High School.