Paint Valley Lady Bearcats take a break from a busy June schedule to host basketball camp – Chillicothe Gazette - Techy Hunters

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Saturday, June 26, 2021

Paint Valley Lady Bearcats take a break from a busy June schedule to host basketball camp – Chillicothe Gazette

BAINBRIDGE – In a month full of traveling, scrimmages, and competition, the Paint Valley girls’ basketball team still made time to give back to the next generation of lady hoopers.

Starting on June 24, the Lady Bearcats hosted a two-day camp where they welcomed girls from the third to the eighth grade to come and work with the team.

What made the event even more important for the group was that it had been several years since they last hosted one.

Bearcats head coach Tristan Norman used to run the camp when she was the junior varsity coach, but since moving up to the varsity ranks five years ago, the camp had been placed on the back burner.

“With my move from junior varsity to varsity, I felt like I had to put all of my focus into that,” Norman said. “However, we decided that with the success that we have had that it was time to get the little ones back in the gym, especially because most of them missed out on their seasons because of COVID.”

Joined by her assistant coach, Shayne Combs, and a majority of her varsity team, the program helps young girls learn defensive fundamentals, ball handling, and other techniques to help them be successful on the court.

Lady Bearcats junior, Averi McFadden participated in the camp when she was younger and said that being a part of it now has been a rewarding experience.

“Just getting everyone involved in the program so young makes it a lot easier for them when they get older,” McFadden said. “When I was younger, I enjoyed being a part of the camp and learning from the older girls. Now being on the other side and being a coach is exciting because I got to see their growth over the past couple of days.

The conclusion of camp served as a culmination of what has been a busy time for the Lady Bearcats.

In fact, the night before camp began, the team had participated in a scrimmage.

Still, both players and coaches had no issues spending their morning training kids, rather than take time to rest.

“The little ones are the future,” Norman said. “For me, it’s about coming here creating a program and a history that people want to be a part of. So, with the kids here, they will be continuing the legacy that the high schoolers now have started.”

One of the biggest emphases’ of the camp is defense, which is Comb’s specialty. 

Much of his time speaking with the participants about defensive strategies and the importance of having the “willingness” to work hard and take on new challenges.

“With any coach in any sport you are trying to teach the players life skills,” Combs said. “So, the question, “Are you willing to?” is a bit of self-motivation that hopefully will apply to being better at anything that they do in life.”

The girls bounced around the different stations that involved ball handling, rebounding, and layup drills that were led by current Bearcats.

They also played in multiple different scrimmages to test out what they had learned.

When asked what her favorite part of camp had been, McFadden said that she enjoyed the chance to be competitive, especially against so much talent.

“I love all of the competitions,” McFadden said. “Paint Valley has always been a very competitive school and as a competitive person myself, I know what it’s like to want to compete.”

Following the end of Friday’s camp, awards were given out to different participants, a move that Norman said was important because it is a sign that hard work pays off.

“Recognition reminds kids that hard work pays off,” Norman said. “I think that it can also serve as something that the other kids can begin to work towards. The prizes show that there is something at the end that makes all the hard work worth it when it’s all said and done.”

Overall, the event seemed to be one that was enjoyed by all and something that Norman said that she hopes to make a Paint Valley tradition.

“It’s really important to make those connections with the kids,” Norman said. “Whether they are younger, in middle school, or high school, it’s all about relationships and I think that we accomplished that over the last two days.”



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