Basketball camp

Gage Barnes concentrates on keeping his head up during a ball handling drill on Tuesday. 


If anything could be taken away from the camp on Tuesday, it’s that future of the St. Vincent boys basketball program look bright.

St. Vincent girls basketball coach Gary Poyner is hosting a camp for elementary and middle school boys. It is the second year that Poyner has hosted such a camp.

“When I first started it, I did the boys and the girls together and we ended up having 60 total kids last year and there were just too many kids in the gym to be able to do the work that I wanted, so I split it into two different camps with different sessions”

The camp has 20 boys in the early session with the 3-5 grades and another 24 with the sixth and 7th grades. Poyner will have a similar girls camp later in the summer.

 Poyner teaches a variety of fundamentals from dribbling, passing, and shooting. 

“We try to go over as much as we can in the camp,” Poyner said. “We will work with the ordinary ball handling and shooting drills, Poyner said. “We also try to work on moves going to the basket and different jab step moves. We want to work on the basic things.”

But Poyner has a specific message for the kids before the four-day camp that ends today. 

“In the four days of the camp, I’m not going to make the kids a phenomenally better ball player,” Poyner said. “What I’m trying to do in the four days is maybe correct a few bad habits that they may have and to show them some drills that they can use at home to make them become a better player. That’s the purpose of the camp. If I can help form your shooting form in those four days, then they go and keep getting better.”

With it being the second year of the camp, Poyner has seen progression in the players, especially those who have come back for the second year.

“I’ve some of the kids come back and improve from last year,” Poyner said. “You can watch and tell who has continued to work on the fundamentals.”

Poyner has even seen improvements in the first-time campers throughout the four days, however minute they may be.

“It’s the small things that I see with them,” Poyner said. “Things like footwork and more confidence in handling.”

Poyner has a passion coaching the younger players and youth in the community and hopes that camps like his continue to be a staple as long as he is a coach.

“I enjoy working with them and teaching the game,” Poyner said. “To me this is not a job. Of course coaching has never really been a job to me. It’s enjoyable and fun to me and I hope the kids see it that way too.”

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