Solanco High boys basketball coach Anthony Hall is putting the "fun" back in fundamentals.
That's the goal of Solanco's Boys FUN-damental Basketball Camp, which was held in the high school gym last week.
Boys going into second through sixth grade met in the mornings and 7th-12th graders convened in the afternoon.
"I know our whole program, youth program through the high school level, is really lacking in the fundamentals," Hall said. "Passing, shooting, cutting, dribbling. When we get to high school, we have to limit the kids' turnovers in games and the only way to do that is to be confident with the ball. So the point of the camp aiming at fun-damentals is breaking up the stations, working on a fundamental with a drill and the next station is a game, based around that fundamental drill. So I just want to keep the kids coming back."
Hall is starting his first year as the Mules' head coach, but brings vast experience on both the high school and college levels. He drew from those experiences when designing Solanco's camp.
"Stealing," Hall identified as a key aspect. "Teachers and coaches are some of the biggest thieves in the world because you don't reinvent the wheel. If you see something you like, you adjust it to your style when you do it. What you see going on in the gym is years of me going to North Carolina doing camps, Davidson College. When I was a college coach, that's what you did during the summer. When you weren't recruiting you were helping at as many camps as you could to get your name out there. It works. You take as many things as you can from your learning experiences and you bring them into your own camps."
Current Solanco players served as instructors for the younger kids.
"We're helping them learn to try to get better," incoming junior Trey Riley said. "As a high school player, I remember being in this position and coming to camp. Seeing the older kids, I think Dylan Hastings (who played at Lehigh) was here at the time. For them to come watch our games in the future, they'll remember having you teach them."
Teaching also benefits the instructors. "You learn about leadership," Riley said. "I feel like you can do the same on the court even though it's not younger kids, it's your teammates."
Said Hall: "I'm meeting them and telling them they've got to take full investment in their own program. The biggest thing I told them is that you are Michael Jordan or Stephen Curry to some of these kids. The goal is to have more than one night be a youth basketball night, so that when the kids come back for a [high school] game, they will say, 'Oh there's Coach Noah. There's Coach Gavin. I worked with them in the gym.' Then as guys graduate, they come back to a game in a couple years and all of a sudden they say, 'Holy cow, there's Tanner. I was coaching him in second grade.' I want them making a total investment in the program."