Watson Chapel basketball coach Matt Busch walked around the high school gymnasium Wednesday morning much the same way he does during the school year — a whistle in his mouth and shouting instructions.

Watson Chapel basketball coach Matt Busch walked around the high school gymnasium Wednesday morning much the same way he does during the school year — a whistle in his mouth and shouting instructions.

Beginning Wednesday and set to conclude Friday, Busch and his staff are conducting the inaugural Wildcat Basketball Camp for boys from 2nd to 8th grade. Campers are learning fundamentals, proper shooting mechanics and taking part in competitive games, led by Busch, his staff and current varsity players.

“The main reason behind it is to get kids involved and keep them involved,” Busch said. “And I couldn’t find three better days. It’s right after school is out and parents can come drop their kids off from 8 to noon. We have kept them busy. They should be worn out.”

The camp had 30 attendees on opening day and Busch expects that number to grow today and Friday as word spreads about the event. He added that anyone interested in attending either of the final two days can pay a $15 admission fee per day, which includes a free t-shirt.

“For just 15 dollars they get a day worth of camp and a t-shirt,” Busch said. That’s a pretty good deal.”

While the kids gain quality instruction from a Busch and his constituents, the third-year head coach gets a first-hand look at the future of the Wildcat hoops program.

“We have some kids in here that have a lot of talent,” Busch said. “And we get to see them early. Just like this one kid who is in the second grade and has great skills. You can tell someone is working with him at home. And we want to instill the proper techniques so that the work is not wasted.”

The program imitates one of Busch’s drills during the camp called dribble-tag where participants dribble around a designated area, attempting to keep their dribble while disrupting others. If a player knocks a ball or the player out of bounds, that player is out. As players drop, the area gets smaller, from inside the 3-point arc to inside the paint to the half circle of the free-throw line. Last player still dribbling is the winner.

“I hope the things they learn here they will take home and do,” Busch said. “If they learn these things early and continue to do them it will only help them in the future. It will only help the future of this program.”

Torren Jackson was selected Camper of the Day on Wednesday.

“He exemplified a great attitude and attention to detail,” Busch said. “He paid attention to detail. He did everything we asked him to do. It’s not about how many points you score. We want to see good kids.”

Busch and his assistant Rodney Echols organized the camp. Echols departed the school last week to take the boys head coaching position at Hot Springs High School. So Busch found other assistants to help, such as junior high coach Marcell Goins and former Watson Chapel graduate and basketball player Jevon Barnes.

Barnes, a sophomore at UAPB, said he came to the camp to learn as much as he did to teach.

“I want to be a coach,” Barnes said. “And coach Busch is a good man. He allows me to come around and work out here. He asked me if I would help because he knows I want to be a coach. And I love helping kids get better.”

And Barnes should be comfortable with the surroundings.

“This is my alma mater,” Barnes said. “Hopefully one day these kids will be coming up and be the next stars. And if they will stay in this program they will be ready and that’s less he will have to do then.”

Busch said it was people like Barnes that helped build successful programs.

“He’s a good kid,” Busch said. “He’s around a lot. He will come up here and shoot around three or four times a week. He’s someone you don’t mind having around your program. He’s nothing but a positive influence.”

If Barnes had his way, he would either sit beside Busch as an assistant or possible face him one day down the road.

“I would love to stay around here,” Barnes said. “That’s why I stick around to learn things. You can never know too much. I watch the things he does, how he motivates kids. Hopefully one day I can be in that position.”