The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff men's basketball program wrapped up the George Ivory Summer Basketball Camp over the weekend. According to UAPB basketball Head Coach George Ivory, the camp was a success, and the goals that were set were accomplished.
The camp was held from June 7-9 on the campus of UAPB at the Hper Complex. The turnout was pleasing for the camp's staff, as 80 plus boys and girls participated. The campers were broken up by the age groups of 6-8, 9-12, 13-14, and 15-17.
Coach Ivory explained the purpose of the camp, and why he believes it was fulfilled.
"One thing we wanted to do was get younger kids involved where they can grow with the camp," Ivory said. "The camp was well attended and we got a lot of good thing accomplished. Primarily we worked on fundamental drills, ball handling, and shooting. It was a very solid environment where they could learn the game of basketball. The girls did very good, we saw some good talent, and they took on every station just as the boys did."
Another positive was that the kids got to work with the UAPB basketball coaching staff, and even some of the current players. According to Ivory, his staff had a blast coaching and teaching the kids the game of basketball.
"We had our assistant coaches and some of our players work the camp," Ivory said. "Each instructor did great jobs at the different stations. I believe everyone had fun teaching them the fundamentals of the game."
As far as the campers themselves, they were all focused on their task at hand, and that was having fun and playing basketball. Along with the hands-on aspect of the game, the campers also got a chance to listen to a speaker, watch a insightful video, and catch a few magic tricks.
The Dean of Education, George Hurst, served as the guest speaker. Hurst talked about the importance of academics and the positive environment at UAPB. Tavoris 'Mr. T' Uzoigwe, an administrator on campus, provided the campers with entertainment by enacting a few magic tricks. Also, the campers watched an informative video about basketball and saying no to drugs.
"I can say the kids really enjoyed the camp," Ivory said. "As I walked around watching the different stations the kids were really into it and trying to learn. They listened to guest speakers and were very attentive. Overall it was a good experience for the kids and our basketball program."
The camp has seen growth over the years, and Ivory directly attributed the growth this year to the fact that they added the 6-and-7-year-old age groups as eligible participants. Not only were the campers from Pine Bluff and surrounding areas, but there were also kids who showed up from Fordyce and Bryant.
"This is the first time that we've taken the 6-and-7-year-olds and I think it was the right decision," Ivory said. "Our camp is growing steadily and we're getting more participants from different areas of the state."