Thompson basketball camp continues excitement around program

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

ALABASTER – The Thompson Warriors burst back onto the scene during the 2018-19 basketball season, and now the excitement around the program is growing following that success as well as the 2019 Thompson basketball camp which took place June 24-25.

Despite falling in the Sweet 16 this past season, the Warriors went from one win during the 2017-18 season to winning 20-plus games and making it to their first postseason since 2013 under first-year head coach Dru Powell.

“The way they competed and battled and played all year to win 21 games and get to a regional was just remarkable,” Powell said after Thompson’s 57-47 loss. “It speaks to the kids dedication and willingness to work hard and buy into what we were selling.”

It not only speaks volumes to the dedication of the kids, but shows the direction the program is heading in after just one season under Powell.

In order for his program to continue in an upward trend moving forward, Powell knows reaching the young athletes in the area and surrounding areas is key to building the success he hopes for.

That’s one of the main goals of the Warriors’ basketball camp, which Powell hosted for the second year in a row after being hired just before last year’s camp started.

“Something like this is the foundation of a program, and I think in order to build a program you’ve got to reach all the way down into the youth ages,” Powell said when taking over the job. “This camp has given kids interested in basketball the chance to have a lot of fun and learn about basketball.”

Throughout the two days, campers received instruction from the head coach as well as his staff and members of the Thompson basketball players. Each day, they learned the main fundamentals and techniques to take home and work on their games moving forward, as they look to take their game to the next level.

The main overall goal was for player development for kids in kindergarten through seventh grades with the hope of them working on their game and finding a passion for it.

Last year, Powell said he met with his players ahead of the camp to talk about the importance of what they were doing for the future of the program, and now with the success of this past season, the players know the importance of the role they are in as leaders not only on the court but in the community.

That helped create a successful camp for the young athletes with plenty of excitement and several lessons learned.

“I think these kids are excited and having fun playing basketball, and when that happens, really good things can happen for this program,” Powell said.

Photos available at Shelbycountyphotos.com.