All it took was hearing that a friend’s third-grade daughter has been playing basketball in their driveway to get me woozy at the thought of her signing up for a basketball team. I loved playing basketball and being on that particular team in 9th and 10th grade. What is different about my basketball experience and that of my friend’s daughter is, my teammates and I were just able to walk on to our high school basketball team without having any previous organized team experience
The concern is that it would be too discouraging to start a sport when the team you are trying to join has a bunch of kids who have already played, so camps are a great way to bridge some of that gap. In fact, when my youngest wanted to start playing lacrosse, he took a clinic that grouped kids by their ability level and started with the most basic skills and moved up. When he joined his team, where at least two-thirds of kids had played before, it was beneficial, though not mandatory, to have tried some of it. To illustrate that it’s never too late, there have been at least three kids on my son’s last few hockey teams — a sport he started when he was 4 — who have come to the sport having not played before. These late elementary- or early middle-school-aged kids were welcomed and each made great strides in the sport — one is now a sought after rec-level goalie in just two seasons. That is truly the benefit of Sno-King Youth Club and Boys and Girls Club offering recreational level — as opposed to select/premiere/rep level — sports.
In making it my personal mission to find my friend’s daughter a basketball camp that fit their schedule and her needs, I found that there are truly a lot of options and locations for basketball camps over the summer.
My first call was to Sno-King Youth Club. They have a three-day basketball camp held at former Woodway High School on July 29, 30 and 31. I called their office specifically with a 9-year-old new player in mind and got a lot of great information. They let me know that there are two sessions each day for players in 1st to 6th grades — Girls Team Camp is from 9 a.m. to noon, and Boys Team Camp from 1 to 4 p.m. The camp will have local high school coaches and players, and kids will be paired with similar abilities, making this a camp for “all skill levels.” Players will focus on individual skill development, the importance of fundamentals and development of healthy team attitude. Campers will do fundamental drill work and take part in competitions as well. Basketball is a winter sport and Sno-King offers leagues for both boys and girls. For more information and registration for this camp, you can visit SKYC.net or call their office at 425-775-2633.
My next call was to Edmonds Parks and Recreation to see about their Skyhawks basketball camps listed on EdmondsCamps.com. The co-ed camp’s description says it is a “fun, skill-intensive program” designed for beginning to intermediate players 6 to 12 years old. Calling it one of their “most popular programs,” the basketball camp is an active week of passing, shooting, dribbling, and rebounding. I called the front desk of the Frances Anderson Center, where the camp will be held, and found out that the three sessions offered — from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. the weeks of July 15, Aug. 5 and Aug. 19 — just naturally have a different makeup of ages and genders. They were also able to steer me toward which sessions had similarly-aged children to the one I was asking about. You can find more information on this camp at both Skyhawks.com and RecZone.org, where you can also register.
In searching for Skyhawks, I saw that the City of Lynnwood is also offering three week-long Skyhawk basketball camps for players ages 6 to 12, also designed for beginner and intermediate players. Camp will be held at Cedar Valley Elementary school on the weeks of July 22, Aug. 5 and Aug. 19. PlayLynnwood.com says that for registration you can call them at 425-670-5732 or visit Skyhawks.com.
Lynnwood is also offering i9 Saturday Summer Basketball at Cedar Valley Elementary for six weeks starting July 20. They say their basketball program, which runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the six Saturdays, is “designed to introduce young players to the sport while enhancing and fine-tuning the skills of more experienced players.” Players will “learn the fundamentals of basketball with age-appropriate and fun skills and drills that build confidence and ability throughout the season.” With the fundamentals in mind, players work on shooting, dribbling and passing while learning coordinated defensive and offensive plays during the games. You can visit i9Sports.com or PlayLynnwood.com for more information and registration.
Mountlake Terrace Recreation is also offering one week of Skyhawks Basketball Camp, but this one is basketball and swim. With the same ages and hours as the other camps, this option is basketball at the Terrace Park School Gym and swim at the MLT Recreation Pavilion the week of Aug. 5.
In addition to Skyhawks, Mountlake Terrace Recreation is teaming up with the Edmonds School District and Mountlake Terrace High School to present the 18th Annual Boys and Girls Summer Basketball Camp, Thursday and Friday June 27 and 28 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The camp, for players 6 to 15 years old, is run by the coaches of MTHS boys and girls basketball teams, with players from each team on-hand to work with the campers as well.
To guarantee an opportunity for every kind of player, drills and scrimmages will be divided up in various age/competitive groups. Throughout the camp, campers will get the opportunity to also learn about conditioning, nutrition and hear from guest speakers. There are also daily prizes for free throw, “Hot Shot” and 3-point contests for each age group. You can find more information on this camp at CityofMLT.com or by calling the Recreation Pavilion at 425-776-9173.
— By Jennifer Marx
Jen Marx, an Edmonds mom of two boys, is always looking for a fun place to take the kids that makes them tired enough to go to bed on time.