Hoops camp teaches fun•damentals

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McNary Boys Basketball Head Coach Ryan Kirch teaches campers a lesson about setting goals at the program’s camp. (KEIZERTIMES/Jason Cox)

For McNary High boys basketball coach Ryan Kirch, their youth basketball camps are more than a great fundraiser.

They also are a way of building bonds between children as young as 8 years old and the McNary basketball program, hopefully creating fans and future Celts. Current McNary players are helping coach fundamentals to youngsters in third through eighth grades. The older kids start to learn about the Celts’ style of basketball, terminology and expectations.

“The campers look up to our players,” Kirch said. “And in turn the kids will be able to come cheer on their favorite coaches. … We want to get as many kids in the gym as possible.”

This particular leadership role is new to lots of Celts, like junior Hayden McCowan.

“It’s, fun, I like working with kids,” he said. “It’s fun seeing their idea of what basketball is.”

And McCowan said teaching the basics to younger players helps remind him and others of the game’s fundamentals.

The camps include lessons on themes like teamwork, setting goals and being able to measure those goals.

Gary Hill, Brody Henry and Carlos Verdugo practice defense. (KEIZERTIMES/Jason Cox)

Riley Flores, a 10-year-old Clear Lake Elementary student, went to all the Celts’ varsity games last season, and has a sister attending McNary.

He credited Kirch with teaching him how to perform a crossover jumpshot.

“It’s really fun,” Flores added. When he’s old enough he wants to play point guard or wing for the McNary program.

It’s all part of getting the community excited about McNary basketball again, Kirch said.

“I couldn’t be more pleased about the position the program is in right now,” Kirch added.

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