30 future Lady Indians spend four mornings mastering their skills –
By Mark Carpenter –
After school is out for the summer, the season becomes that of the basketball camp and Peebles Lady Indians head coach Billie Jo Justice and her staff got the ball rolling with a four-day camp for girls going into grades 2-6. The camp took place from May 29-June 1, from 9- 11:30 a.m. each morning. In the four days, the young campers worked on a variety of fundamental basketball skills as well as having a little fun with the typical camp staples of “Dribble Knockout” and “Sharks and Minnows.”
For Coach Justice, the camp is a chance to get all the younger girls in the gym and working with the high school players who show up as camp assistants.
“We’ve got 30 girls this year and all of our high school girls were her to work the camp and begin good relationships with each other,” said Coach Justice, who will be entering her third season with the Lady Indians in the 2018-19 season. ” Fundamentals were the big thing we tried to work on, doing stations with footwork and things like that they need for the Pee-Wee program. A lot of it is just getting kids to want to come play basketball and have a good time doing it. We do a lot of fun stuff and all of the kids got basketballs to take home this year.”
“All of the kids, young and old, want to be here and they want to be in the gym. We have our summer open gyms going with the high school girls and they don’t want to come off the floor. We are all loving the game again and that starts with the little ones here at camp, the older kids promoting the game and our program to the younger kids.”
Key to the success to any basketball camp is the high school players who take time out of their schedules to be in the gym to work with the players of the future. One of the helpers at the Lady Indians’ camp was the daughter of Coach Justice, Jacey, who is a gym rat herself anyway.
“When I was young, the camps were boys and girls together and really competitive,” says Jacey. “I remember being a youngster at basketball camp and I really like helping these kids with their ball handling and shooting and everything. In things like dribbling and keeping their head up, I have already seen so much improvement in four days. They are even better now with the jump rope.”
Jerilin Toller will be a senior with the Lady Indians in the upcoming season and was also on hand to assist with this year’s camp.
“I love little kids and I love basketball, so it’s always fun teaching them how to play and watching them get better,” said Toller. “They are all so goofy and lovable and easy to teach and they have gotten better, especially with their shooting form.”
The campers for the week were: Laci Blanton, Emily Burns, Riley Byers, Talashia Elkins, Angel Gray, Kaylee Hanson, Rhylee-Jo Lamb, Alyssa Mitchell, Kaelyn Musser, Kendall Myers, Abigail Nichols, Cambri Parker, McKayla Parker, MaKenna Purvis, Kiera Scott, Savanna Shoemaker, Alyssa Smalley, Abigail Smalley, Caitlin Smalley, Aubrey Sturgill, Ainsley Thompson, Jerzi Tong, Lily Trantow, Shaelin Trantow, Emma Roades, Brooklyn Staggs, Addison Puckett, Kianna McKinley, Josie McGhee, and Reese Davis.
Coach Justice was assisted by her JV coach Jessica Kremin and Junior High coach Sidney Pell and their high school helpers were: Jacey Justice, Taylor Cluxton, Lilly Gray, Jerilin Toller, Harlee Wilkinson, Madison Beekman, Tatum Arey, Christian Reed, Kylie Sims, Hope Brown, Natalee Workman, Marissa Moore, Mackenzee Hamilton, and Kierra Stone.