ASU coach teaching hoop basics at camp

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 7, 2001

Alcorn State Assistant Coach Samuel West stands at half court shouting encouragement as campers play basketball on each end of the court.

&uot;Find the open man,&uot; he said. &uot;Don’t just dribble. Pass or shoot the ball.&uot;

The encouragement is given out in healthy doses. After all, West isn’t concerned with which team wins during the Miss-Lou Basketball Camp held this week at Martin Gym, his goal is to see the players improve on the basics of the game of basketball.

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&uot;We are not worried about who wins and who loses,&uot; he said. &uot;We just want to make sure each of these players improves by the end of the camp.&uot;

West has held the camp for the past eight years in Natchez, and he has had several campers who have participated since the very first year.

Douglas Logan Jr. is one of those campers. Logan started going to the camp when he was in kindergarten.

&uot;I come back, because I have a good time every year, the 10-year-old said. &uot;I’ve learned a lot about basketball. I learned to shoot much better, and now I can dribble with my left hand.&uot;

This is the first year for Ricky Newborne, 12, but he too said the camp is helping him to become a better player.

&uot;I’m learning the correct way to shoot, a better way to fake with the ball and how to dribble between my legs without losing it. I hope to come back next year.&uot;

Those types of comments are exactly what West hopes to hear from each of his campers.

&uot;This camp is all about helping the kids, and I think I have seen improvement in all of them,&uot; West said. &uot;The kids have come to work everyday, and the weather has helped. The rain has kept the gym cool. It has been more comfortable in here than I can remember.&uot;

West will host a second camp for girls starting on Monday and running through Thursday. The camp is held each day at Martin Gym starting at 8 a.m.

Registration for the camp will be held at 7:30 a.m. on June 11.