Last week, the Weber State University men’s basketball team held a youth basketball camp for boys ages 8-18. Many children from all parts of Utah were in attendance. WSU’s basketball staff and players directed the camp.
Many basketball fundamentals were taught over the four-day camp, including offensive and defensive drills.
“We usually learned about dribbling, defense, offense, passing and some other lessons,” said 8-year-old Peyton Surrage, one of the younger participants in the camp. “My favorite part was going three-on-three and five-on-five.”
Men’s basketball head coach Randy Rahe said he wanted this camp not only to be educational, but enjoyable.
“The number one thing — we want these kids to have a lot of fun,” Rahe said. “We want them to enjoy basketball while they are learning and while they are getting better. I think once they have fun, they are more apt to learn more. That’s what we really want to try to do. Our goal is to make them really tired when they leave here so they stay out of their mom and dad’s way. But our main goal is to have fun and learn along the way.”
WSU senior Kyle Tresnak said he saw this camp as an opportunity to not only teach basketball, but to point the kids in the right direction in life.
“There are a lot of kids that have the wrong kinds of attitudes,” he said. “If we can help them when they’re younger, it will help them develop into good basketball players. If you have the right attitude, you are half the way there; you just have to develop your skills after that.”
Rahe said the staff and players try to teach the young participants a few real-world lessons during the camp as well.
“We try to teach them a few life lessons along the way: Be a good person, take care of your mom and dad, make your bed,” he said. “We try to help Mom and Dad out with that as much as we can.”
Both Tresnak and senior Davion Berry attended basketball camps in their youth, but none of this scale.
“I went to a lot of camps,” Berry said. “Obviously camps are bigger now. When I was growing up, camps weren’t that big. But now they are bigger. It’s good to see all the kids here.”
Tresnak said he thinks the camp is a great experience for the youth.
“It’s a great camp,” he said. “We do a lot of different skill stations, play a lot of different games. They get to have a good experience, everyone is treated fairly, and we really try to help the kids.”
Rahe said he sees the camp as a steppingstone into becoming a good basketball player, but it all depends on the work put into it.
“This is really just a fundamental camp,” Rahe said. “We work on ball handling, passing, shooting, defensive slides, so we touch upon about every fundamental thing you can touch upon. It’s just basic stuff. But these kids are at an age where they need the basics. We tell our kids all the time, ‘You’re not going to get better this week in camp unless you take what we give you and work on it when you leave camp.’ Four days doesn’t make you a better player, but if you take what we give you and really want to be good and go out and work at it, then you will become a very good player.”
Players and coaches said they were happy with the way the camp turned out, and hope for even more attendance in future years.
“It’s been a blast,” Tresnak said. “These kids really want to come in here and learn, especially the younger ones. Just to be able to get to know them and teach them how to play basketball, it’s always fun.”
WSU Athletics will host a variety of other camps over the next month, including for women’s basketball, volleyball and tennis.
“We have the best camp in the state,” Berry said. “There is no doubt in my mind that we have the best staff. We play hard here, we bring it every day, we have energy.”