WSSU skills camp focuses on the basics

WSSU basketball head coach James Welhelmi

WSSU skills camp focuses on the basics
July 07
16:00 2016

Photo by Timothy Ramsey



Winston-Salem State University has a storied past when it comes to the game of basketball.  With legendary coach Clarence “Big House” Gaines, players such as Earl “The Pearl” Monroe and Cleo

Hill, and sports columnist and commentator Stephen A. Smith, the Ram’s impact on the game cannot be denied.

On June 27 through 29, WSSU held its annual basketball camp inside Whitaker gymnasium.  The camp hosted kids from second to fifth grades in the mornings, then sixth through eighth grades during the afternoon session.

According to WSSU basketball head coach James Welhelmi, they want to concentrate on the fundamentals of the game.  With the kids watching and emulating how they see the NBA players performing on television, they lose sight of the fact that all of those players started with mastering the basics first.

“We just want to try and instill some fundamentals in them,” said Welhelmi.  “At this stage of their games they need to learn how to pass, dribble and shoot, so we just go through fundamental drills with them. We also want to teach them how to compete because that’s a lost aspect in many young people’s game.”

Passing, shooting, rebounding and playing with energy are a few of the aspects of the camp the coaches wanted the campers to focus on.  Andrew Brown, assistant coach and camp director, played college basketball at Mercer University and just finished his first season with the Rams.  He said being at WSSU is a very good situation for him and he is happy to be there to teach the kids.

He said he wants the campers to be able to take the tools they learn from the camp and use them when they practice at home.

“I want the kids to learn how to work hard and how to compete, 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.”

About Author

Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More Sponsors