The sounds of basketballs bouncing reverberated throughout the Sumner High School gymnasium last week.
The Sumner Spartans boys basketball team, which is coached by Brett McDaniel, conducted its 10th annual basketball camp for boys and girls in first through eighth grade during a four-day camp June 23-26. The camp drew 130 players from the local community.
“Our community has been really supportive ever since I got here,” McDaniel said. “We always have a lot of kids in the area who come to this camp. Since we have started our youth feeder programs and started getting the word out, we’ve continued to see our numbers rise. We want kids wearing our shirts and dribbling our basketballs around town. This camp is all about the campers having fun and connecting with the program. We really want them to feel part of it.”
McDaniel is striving to mirror camps that were put on by former Puyallup High head coach Jim Clifton and former Rogers coach Rod Iverson during his childhood days growing up in Puyallup in the 1980s.
“When I was a kid, the camps that were run by Clifton and Iverson was a first- class experience,” he said. “I went to those camps every summer for 10 years. They always had trophies and handouts ready for us each day. They treated us well and I always have remembered that.”
Sumner starting guard Riley Bruil was one of the varsity players in attendance coaching up campers. Bruil was a regular at these types of camps growing up.
“I always loved getting coached up by the older kids,” Bruil said. “They were good mentors for me, and it was fun. Now I get the chance to be a mentor to these kids.”
The senior enjoys the fact campers recognize him from attending Sumner High basketball games. He also enjoys being a role model to the next generation of Spartans.
“My favorite part of this is giving back to them,” Bruil said. “A lot of them come to our games and watch us play, so I feel like its important for me to help them get better every day so they can become the same player that I am right now one day.”
McDaniel said the campers in attendance look up to the Spartans basketball players.
“Our players work hard the whole time and love giving back to the community,” he said. “It is something they believe in. This is where most of them got started and they like to give back. The kids at camp want to be around these players. These are the guys they see on the court on Friday nights.”
Shaun Scott: 253-552-7002 shaun.scott @puyallupherald.com Twitter: @herald_shaun