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A record number of Sylvania girls dribbled, passed, and shuffled their way around the hardwood floors of the gym at the Little LadyKats Basketball camp held at Northview High School gym on Tuesday.
Members of the Northview varsity girls basketball team teach girls from all around the Sylvania School District in grades 3 through 8 the fundamental skills they need to be successful basketball players.
PHOTO GALLERY: Northview girls‘ basketball skills camp
Assistant coach Carrie Hansen said, “These girls get to know the basics like dribbling, passing, rebounding, and they get to have fun while they‘re doing it.”
The camp began Monday and will run through Thursday, and the sessions last from 9 a.m. to noon. Coach Brittany Cymbolin said this year’s group of girls is the largest they have ever had, with 42 girls participating. Normally, only 25 or 30 attend.
The coaches and the varsity players run the girls through a round of training stations, each of which lasts for seven minutes. The stations include drills like running the ladder, one-on-one defensive drills, dribbling, shooting, and much more. The girls then move on to scrimmages with three against another three participants, and end with five versus five scrimmages.
“I signed up to get better at basketball and to prepare me,” said Anna Lagger, a sixth grader from McCord Junior High School. “I like the games and the scrimmages, too, because I actually get to do defense.”
A $60 fee is required for girls to participate in the camp, which is a fundraiser that will allow the varsity basketball program to participate in two tournaments in the coming season. One is the Classic in the Country in Berlin, Ohio in January, 2015 and the other is in Fort Meyers, Fla. The latter is an invite-only tournament in which the girls will participate over Christmas break.
Tournaments like these are important to the high school. “It gives exposure to Sylvania, and not just Sylvania but Toledo, too,” Ms. Hansen said. “It’s good to get us more exposure beyond the local tournaments.”
While benefiting the varsity players, the basketball camp instills valuable lessons in the hearts of the participants.
“One team philosophy that we have is family and the importance of being a good person, student, and player,” Mrs. Cymbolin said. “We have a focus on the community and we want the kids to look up to our players.”
Mackenzie Riggs, a senior varsity player at Northview, now helps teach these ideals that she learned when she used to participate. “The biggest thing I learned was that [the players] were my role models. Now we get to give back what those girls gave to us,” she said.
Kayionna Rogers, a fifth grader from Highland Elementary, loves the philosophy behind the camp as much as the drills.
She said, “My favorite part is at the end, we all get together and shout family.”
Contact Kathleen Ashcraft at: email@example.com or 419-724-6050.