Adena’s co-ed youth basketball camp provides equal opportunities for the next generation – Chillicothe Gazette - Techy Hunters

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Thursday, July 22, 2021

Adena’s co-ed youth basketball camp provides equal opportunities for the next generation – Chillicothe Gazette

FRANKFORT — For young athletes, it is always beneficial to get advice from older players.

However, one cannot help but think that the knowledge carries a bit more weight when it comes from some of the best players in the region.

That is the case for young Adena students, ranging from third to eighth grade, who participated in the school’s second annual co-ed basketball camp.

At the three-day camp, the kids are coached by Adena’s boys’ and girls’ basketball teams.

Adena has had a lot of success with both of its varsity programs. In fact, both teams won their Scioto Valley Conference titles outright, losing just three conference games between them.

That fact is not lost on Ava Ferrell, a seventh-grader who was the girls’ “Camper of the Day” on Tuesday. She said that it was a valuable experience for herself and her schoolmates.

“Playing with the high schoolers is exciting,” Ferrell said. “I already know a lot of them, so getting the chance to learn from that has made me and my friends better.”

As for the new boy’s basketball coach, Ryan Olaker, he finds the camp to be a way to learn more about his team ahead of the season.

“The kids now get to see what us coaches go through,” Olaker said. “I think that they did a really good job, even where there was some adversity. It is great to work with the youth in the program and build that strong foundation.”

What also sets the camp apart from others is that is it is a co-ed event. While most schools separate their boys and girls athletes, the school welcomes them to learn together.

Warriors’ girls’ basketball head coach, Andrew Day, said that it is good to blend them because it provides the campers an equal opportunity to grow.

“It gives us the chance to get more kids into the gym,” Day said. “The kids all get the chance to play with each other, which creates more excitement. It is just a chance for everyone to keep getting better.”

After the kids participated in their first set of stations, Coach Day had all the kids spread out around the gym and work on their defensive stances.

The kids followed along as each instruction was given by Day and Olaker and excitedly hit the ground to assert their dominance.

Day repeated the phrase, “If you want to play basketball here at Adena, you have to love it.” 

Afterward, the kids participated in a series of games that helped them to work on their free-throw shooting, dribbling, and defense.

The most intense game was King of the Court, which was won by eighth-grader, Joey Francis.

After draining jump shots, breaking ankles, and defensively locking down over a dozen other campers, Francis said it was a great feeling to be King.

“My favorite part of camp so far is getting the chance to compete,” Francis said. “It felt even better to do it against so many people I know and still manage to come out on top.”

Adena’s camp will continue until Thursday, which Day said gives the kids a lot of time to get better.

“It is one of the most fun things about camp,” Day said. “It is awesome to watch a kid who on day one struggled to dribble or could not get the ball in the hoop and then by day three they have the lightbulb going off in their heads.”

Have a story tip or comment? Contact Raven at RSMoore@gannett.com or 740-270-2895. Follow her on Twitter @Raven_XReport or at https://www.facebook.com/raven.moore.5667901



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