Summertime fun focuses on basketball skills

The young kids scrimmage one another twice a week during the camp and are exposed to a number of drills to enhance their play

Summertime fun focuses on basketball skills
July 07
16:15 2016

Photo by Timothy Ramsey



During the summer kids, engage in many activities to occupy the hours they otherwise would have spent at school.  With all of this free time, some kids find themselves in situations that could get them in trouble with their parents, or even the law.

To give kids a positive outlet, Brian Leak of the Carl H. Russell Sr. Community Center runs the Drills and Skills program at the center.  Leak started the camp in 1988 at the 14th Street Recreation Center and has carried the program everywhere he has been since.

The kids in the program engage in skills that enhance the fundamentals of basketball such as dribbling, shooting and passing.  Along with the physical aspect of the program, Leak invites motivational speakers and local pastors to come and speak to the kids to encourage them to stay on the right path.  The kids are also provided with a free lunch while there.

“It’s been a positive thing to me to be able to give back to these kids,” Leak said.  “We want to keep the kids motivated mind, body and spirit.  We like to talk to them about getting in the church and the positive things that can come from it.”

pete, because today’s generation has some trouble competing on a daily basis,” said Brown.  “Just because you miss a shot doesn’t mean you become discouraged and stop playing hard. I am constantly drilling in the kids to compete, fight and to play with energy.”

Brown said he feels as though the young players of today only see the finished product of the NBA players and do not realize the hard work they have had to put in to get to that level.  He wants the campers to understand that once you have a solid foundation with the basics, then you can use those skills to incorporate other aspects into your game.

Shooting is the biggest deficiency that Brown notices in many of the young players today.  He said with the way the NBA has transitioned to a jump shooting league, many young players want to instantly become three-point shooters without mastering a basic layup.

“What’s happening is they see all of the three pointers, and they see Steph Curry and Klay Thompson and they want to be like them,” Brown said.  “Those guys are prolific shooters and one of the reasons why is because they put in the time.

“When you have a younger player coming up, they gravitate immediately to the three-point line.  What I want to teach the kids are to learn how to make a layup first and the shots off the glass, then we can go to the three-point line.”

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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