June 26, 2013 - Young cagers wore smiles as they practiced their skills and techniques during Dare to Dream Fundamental Basketball Camp last week.
Lillian Schuester controls possession through defense press. Photo by Wendi Reardon (click for larger version)
"It's been pretty good," said Tim Wasilk, Clarkston Girls Varsity Basketball Head Coach and leading the camp. "It's been a fun week. The girls have worked extremely hard."
Girls in grades third through ninth worked on fundamentals every day such as ball-handling, defense, passing, rebounding footwork and shooting.
Meghan Deardorff, who is going into ninth grade this fall, has attended the camp for five years and each year she keeps improving.
"The fundamentals have helped me become a better player and know what to do in a situation," she added. "It has helped me learn how to do everything."
Deardorff noted a few improvements she has made through the years at the camp are in her shots, defense and footwork.
"My defense stance is better and my feet are quicker," she explained. "Learning how to box out and not letting people get around me."
She attended Dare to Dream five years ago to see if basketball was the sport for her. She found out it was.
"It made basketball fun and I kept wanting to do it," she smiled.
"It was a really good experience for them," Wasilk added. "It helps them anytime the girls are in the gym, they are playing and they have a ball in their hands. Most of the girls on my varsity team have come up through this or the summer league. The kids see them coming up and work with them and our coaching staff. It makes a big difference."
Campers received tips from coaches in the Lady Wolves basketball program as well as current varsity players.
"They see the high school girls and look up to them," Wasilk added. "They get a player's view and someone closer to their age."
The girls also played five-on-five basketball games and participated in four contests every day in three divisions separated by grades. The winners from each day competed against each other on the final day of camp. The winner received a trophy and bragging rights for the next year.
Contest winners from this year's camp were Natalie Nicklin, Megan Rusnak and Meghan Deardorff in hot shot; Nicklin, Kaelyn Kaul, Jade Garcia in free throw knockout; Nicklin, Danielle Hopkins and Aalayna Green in lightning; and Nicklin, Hopkins and Kaylee Percival in one on one.
"It's a lot of fun," Deardorff said. ""More people should come out and play."
Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.