‘Have a great attitude:’ Campers learn basketball and life lessons at HHS summer basketball camp

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

HELENA–Being thankful, having a great attitude and working hard to do your best were just a few of the things stressed at the Helena High School youth summer basketball camp June 26-29.

Roughly 100 kids in two separate age groups made their way to the Helena High School gymnasium where they received instruction, learned fundamentals, competed and learned valuable lessons over a four-day span about the game of basketball.

The camp was open to both boys and girls in grades 1-8 interested in learning the game of basketball with emphasis on fundamentals, skills instruction and stressing the importance of academics, character, teamwork and sportsmanship.

Boys and girls in grades 1-3 attended the camp during the morning session while boys and girls in grades 4-8 attended the camp in the afternoon.

Helena head boys basketball coach Chris Laatsch and Helena head girls basketball coach Alan Skinner both led the camp and provided instruction, as well as several assistant coaches and Helena varsity players.

“I actually like my girls coming to the camp and helping work it because they can kind of see things from my point of view,” Skinner said. “I have a lot of players from my team out here helping and volunteering with camp. A lot of them have been out here everyday because they just have a passion for it.”

Campers that attended ranged from no experience level to several years of playing experience but each individual was grouped appropriately according to age and ability, according to Laatsch.

Competitions such as 3-on-3 games, 5-on-5 games, a hot shot competition and a free throw competition were all included in the camp and each player received a free Helena Basketball Camp T-shirt for participating.

Each day of camp focused on a different theme and on Wednesday, June 28, the theme was having a good attitude.

“Today we talked a lot about having a great attitude,” Laatsch said at the end of the afternoon session on June 28. “In life, there’s going to be a lot of things that you can’t control. The same will happen in basketball like when the ref makes a bad call. Regardless, you always have to have a great attitude no matter what and it will take you far.”

Campers Eli Andrews and Matthew Crumpton both participated in the summer basketball camp and had different reasons on why they enjoyed the camp.

“I like the camp counselors a lot,” Andrews said. “The counselors and the coaches keep things going and are fun.”

“Playing the 3-on-3 games was my favorite part,” Crumpton said. “The thing I like about the coaches is that they are easy going and fun.”

To view or purchase photos from the camp, visit Shelbycountyphotos.com.