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Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 18, 2017

Boys learn basketball ins and outs

By Andy Hallman, Ledger news editor | Aug 11, 2017
Source: PHOTOS COURTESY OF MICK FLATTERY A basketball camp for boys entering grades four through nine was held July 17-21 in the Fairfield High School gymnasium.

Young stars of the hardwood got a chance to hone their skills at the Fairfield Trojan boys’ basketball camp July 17-21.

The camp was for boys going into grades four through nine. Fairfield High School varsity boys’ basketball coach Mick Flattery led the camp.

Flattery said the purpose of the camp is to teach young players the fundamentals of the game through offensive and defensive drills. The drills stress individual talent instead of learning to run plays. In addition to the practices, the camp offers participants an array of competitions.

Competitive events include one-on-one play, a low-post scoring drill and the “Trojan Shot,” which tests campers’ ability to hit shots from various locations.

“The kids really get after it when we do the competitions,” Flattery said.

The low-post scoring drill they did is called “Mikan,” named after NBA center George Mikan. Mikan was known for his outstanding ability to score with both hands around the basket. The Mikan drill asks players to make as many layups as they can in 30 seconds while alternating their shooting hand.

The Trojan Shot originates from an old Pepsi Hot Shot game in which players receive points for each made try depending on its difficulty. For instance, shots in the lane are worth only one point; shots from the low post are worth two; shots from the elbow are three, and shots beyond the three-point arc are worth five. The players try to score as many points as they can in 30 seconds.

 

Role models

High school athletes serve as player-coaches. Flattery said it’s great to have them at the camp because they’re the guys the young kids look up to.

“We want them to be positive role models and they are,” he said.

Flattery said young people tend to select idols a little bit older than them who they want to emulate. After establishing friendships with the varsity athletes, Flattery believes it will make the youngsters interested in following the team during the winter when they’re showing off their own skills.

 

Guest speaker

Fairfield High School alumnus Woody Orne addressed the campers at one of the practices. Orne was a standout football player who played at South Dakota State University and later for the University of Iowa.

He was by no means a one-sport athlete. In fact, he was also an excellent basketball player, collecting 1,000 points and 700 rebounds in just a three-year career.

“He shared his experience of being a multisport athlete and how his favorite sport as a kid was basketball,” Flattery said. “Basketball scouts thought he didn’t grow enough in high school, so he went the football route. He’s such a great role model for our kids, and he’s going to help with football and be one of my volunteer assistants in basketball.”

 

First practice

The first practice for the FHS boys’ basketball program is Nov. 13, and Flattery can’t wait for it.

“We have so many guys who are playing football or out for cross-country now. I think it’s awesome,” he said. “I stopped by football camp to recruit some of those players. Our coaching staff is excited to start the season and so am I.”

Following are the award winners of the individual competitions during the camp.

 

1-on-1 Champs: play to three baskets

Dylan Adam

Caden Allison

Ryan Higgins

 

Mikan low-post drill

Carter Thompson

Nathan Whitney

Ryan Higgins

Spencer Vaughn

Riley Perkins

Brock Atwood

 

Trojan Shot

Ethan Waugh

Evan Haines

Tate Allen

Spencer Vaughn

Riley Perkins

Owen Clendening

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