Basketball camp is a slam dunk with kids

Many camps at Bellevue College are available during the summer months for young athletes to keep busy, including Advantage Basketball Camp. This camp took place at the BC basketball court and was directed by Jasen Thomas, the head girls’ coach at Franklin High School and Terrance King, an international professional basketball player.

“At the camp,” King said, “we teach a lot of basketball fundamentals … [and] really concentrate on a lot of ball handling skills. We do a lot of repetition.”

“My favorite part is giving back the knowledge that I have,” he said. “I love watching them grow … and get better during the week.”

However, he said he just want the kids to have a good time. In addition to teaching them the fundamentals, King stated, “The main goal is … for the kids to have fun and experience a great workout and challenge.” Since the camp was from nine a.m. to five p.m., he said it was tough to keep their spirits up. “The hardest part is sometimes to get the kids to focus … since it’s a long day for kids,” King said. “They experience what their parents experience because it’s a regular workday.”

Some campers didn’t drop the ball when camp is over. Charlie, a 10-year-old, said “It’s pretty hard. We have to leave…and then go to our basketball [team] practice right after.”

For Nathan, an 11-year-old at the camp, it’s still a lot of fun. “My favorite part is three-on-three.” Although he’s been playing basketball for four years, he said it was his first camp at BC. “I like it so far,” he said.

Although all the kids were busy doing drills, they were excited. Danika, age nine and Christopher,  age 10, were all excited about their week. “It’s great!”

“It can be intense, though,” said Danika. “Everybody [plays] at the same time and [the ages] range from six-year-olds to 13-year-olds and older.”

“The coaches are really nice, but they make us do really hard drills,” chimed in Idan. “The hardest one is the scissors.” This exercise required everyone to stand in line and wove the basketball in a figure-eight through their legs. “Also we have to do push-ups a lot,” said Chris.

Despite the hard drills, the kids were all smiles. Idan beamed, “It’s the best camp I’ve ever went to.”