Helias holds girls basketball camp

A pair of Helias girls basketball players run through drills during camp earlier this week at Rackers Fieldhouse.

A pair of Helias girls basketball players run through drills during camp earlier this week at Rackers Fieldhouse. Photo by Deborah Cote.

The numbers were outstanding this week for the Helias girls basketball camp.

So was the talent.

“Each group, the skill level is the best that it’s ever been,” Helias coach Doug Light said. “You remember kids from last year and you can see the improvement. It’s neat to see.”

The camp, broken into groups featuring girls entering grades 4-6 and 7-8, featured more than 100 players. Light said the camp is a great chance for the participants to pick up some of the basic skills they can work on the rest of the year.

“They learn things here and carry them on where ever they choose to play,” he said.

In the youngest groups, the idea is to entertain as well as teach.

“We want to show them some skills, play some games, make sure they have fun,” Light said. “We want to get them to like the game of basketball.”

Light was helped at the youth camp by some of his varsity players.

“The high school kids have done a great job at the camps,” Light said. “The younger kids really seem to enjoy working with them and I think the older girls get just as much enjoyment out of it.”

The high-school girls had camps nightly as well. That is just the start of their work over the summer.

The team plays in a Monday night league hosted by Helias. Next week, the team is going to the University of Notre camp for the fifth consecutive summer.

“The kids love it,” Light said. “It’s a great experience, the people are great there and to get the chance to walk around and see the campus is a lot of fun.”

Helias, which also will participate in the Licking Team Camp later this summer, will return just a pair of starters among a handful of players with varsity experience. The Lady Crusaders will use the summer as a time to audition for playing time once the season starts in November.

“We’re trying to get the pieces in the right place, get the right people into the right role,” Light said.

Light said the time over the summer is invaluable.

“Everybody else is doing it, so you need to put your work in during the summer to be competitive,” Light said. “It gives you a chance to see what’s coming next year, a chance for them to play together.

“We’re a work in progress, but we are going to work to get where we need to be.”

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