A record 82 campers learned proper technique during the 13th annual Cascade Christian boys basketball camp last week.
The campers, first-graders through eighth-graders, listened to Cougars head coach Jerry Williams and his varsity players, who served as coaches during the four-day event.
Riley Ramos, who plays both basketball and football at Cascade Christian, remembers attending the camp when he was in grade school and middle school.
“I had the great opportunity to attend this camp more than a few times when I was growing up,” he said. “I remember thinking about how much I wanted to be just like the older kids that were here coaching me.
“Looking back, it was the best of times,” Ramos added. “It was definitely the highlight of my summer. I’m playing high school basketball now because of it. I don’t know if that would have happened if I didn’t go to this camp as a kid. I might had turnout out to be a wrestler like my brother (Spencer).”
Williams said the large contingent of attendees is a byproduct of the success of the program. The Cougars advanced to the Class 1A state tournament in Yakima in three of the past four seasons.
“We have been fortunate to have some really good success in our program, and I think that attracts people in our area,” Williams said. “In past years, we’ve had around 60 campers. During these tough times, with the recession, money is hard to come by, so we feel blessed that we have so many kids at camp this year.”
Williams said the goal is to teach campers how to thrive with the basic nuances of the game.
“Absolutely the No. 1 key to our camp is fundamentals,” he said. “That is the foundation of our learning. When these players go through the ranks, from elementary school to junior high to high school, they are going to be required to use those fundamentals. That is why we emphasize it so much and why it is the basis of our program.”
Sports Editor Shaun Scott can be reached at 253-552-7002 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter, @herald_shaun.