locally owned since 1854

Happy campers: Youngsters learn during summer hoops at MAHS

By Laura Hayes

laurahayes@pressandjournal.com

717-944-4628
Posted 7/18/18

Middletown varsity and junior varsity basketball players returned to the gym last week to help teach kids the basics  of the game they love.

Middletown Area High School teacher Chris …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Happy campers: Youngsters learn during summer hoops at MAHS

Posted

Middletown varsity and junior varsity basketball players returned to the gym last week to help teach kids the basics  of the game they love.

Middletown Area High School teacher Chris Bradford, who led the camp, said the camp has been going on for years.

This year, the camp ran from July 9-12 and was open to boys and girls in grades 3-8. Bradford said there were about 40 campers and 12 members of the Blue Raider varsity and junior varsity basketball teams help out.

“Our players do a majority of the work. I get to sit back and watch them probably learn just as much from the young guys as the young guys learn from them, which is pretty cool,” Bradford said.

One of the players to help lead the camp was senior and point guard Tyler Petroski.

“I wanted to see what the young talent in the community is,” Petroski said.

Varsity and junior varsity players aren’t required to help out at the camp. However, with Chris Sattele’s recent announcement that he would be stepping down as the basketball team’s head coach, Bradford said he reached out to some of the Blue Raider players who may be playing in the summer league or working out to help.

“When they’re teaching the skills, they’re reinforcing that stuff in their own mind,” Bradford said. “This is volunteer work for them.”

Petroski said that he’s enjoyed seeing where the campers thrive and where they might need some help.

“This is the game I love,” Petroski said.

The Blue Raiders finished last season 19-9, including a District 3 third-place finish. The team made the PIAA Elite 8.

The Blue Raiders ran the campers through several drills, working on their offensive skills — like ball handling, dribbling moves and shooting — and defense. On the last day of the camp, they started out by playing against each other — both one on one and two on two — and working on seeing how many baskets they can make in a minute.

These are skills, Bradford said, that the campers can use both in summer and into next basketball season.

“One day, the kids that are in camp right now are going to be the ones running the camp and there’s going to be a whole new group of young kids looking up to them,” Bradford said.

Fourth-grader and camper Josh Stains said that he’s enjoyed playing against the other players.

“I love sports,” Stains said.

Bradford said they plan to do a joint boys and girls basketball camp next year, too. There are benefits to the camp — the younger players get to work with current players, which Bradford said, make them invested in the players and games at the high school level.

With a gym filled with 50-plus basketball players, Bradford said it was a fun four days.

“Basketball’s fun. That’s why we do it,” Bradford said.