Helena players impact community through Helena Basketball Camp

Published 8:37 pm Friday, June 30, 2023

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By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

HELENA – Young basketball players from around the area got the exciting chance to learn the game of basketball from the pride of the city at the Helena Basketball Camp from June 26-29 at Helena High School.

Kids started the day working on skills from shooting to passing to ball-handling, and they practiced it in lots of fun games and drills. Then, they took their skills to the court and faced off against their fellow campers in three-on-three and five-on-five games to close each day.

For Helena varsity boys basketball coach Lucas McDonald, the best part was seeing the 65 campers be so excited for the camp throughout the week.

“My favorite part of the week is just these kids and the smiles on their faces when they come to camp every day,” McDonald said. “So many of those kids just want to get there early, and we got a line waiting that’s in the morning. And it’s great to then watch our kids also have a chance to interact with these young kids. You know, for some of our kids, it’s also a highlight of their day. So, it’s always great to see that interaction that takes place between the players and the campers.”

The Helena Huskies basketball players helped run the camp and teach the campers in drills and games. They also got to meet the kids who cheered them on all throughout the season and teach them life lessons as well as basketball ones.

For coach McDonald, those moments are ways where the players can teach the lessons they learned from him.

“It’s a great opportunity for our kids to have that opportunity to help get these young individuals excited about the game of basketball and help teach them a few things in terms of some character development and things like that, and lessons that we talk about with our older guys all the time as well,” coach McDonald said. “It’s a great way for our kids to understand that it’s not all about them, that it’s about the community as a whole and allows us to give back.”

It’s the community aspect that’s most important to the coaching staff, and coach McDonald makes sure the players know the opportunity they have with this camp to make an impact on the community.

“I tell our kids all the time that we need to give back to the community,” coach McDonald said. “It’s a great opportunity for our kids to have a chance to do that and, you know, they don’t realize how much these younger kids in the community look up to them and come and watch them play and want to be out there when they get older as well.”