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BHS hosts girls’ basketball camp

BELGREEN — Many coaches across Franklin County and the state of Alabama hold summer camps during the summer months.

Some of these events are geared towards just high school varsity squads, but others have a different goal in mind.

Belgreen High School head girls’ basketball coach Richie Hester puts on such a camp each summer at BHS.

The camp run by Hester is for the younger girls of different communities in and around Franklin County.

“I’ve been doing basketball camps all the way back to the summer of 1998,” Hester said. “Every place I’ve been I’ve tried to do a camp. We did a summer camp last year, and we had a really good turnout. It was a success.

“This one this year has been the same thing. We’ve got a great turnout. Last year we had girls from all over. This year we have girls from Phil Campbell, Red Bay, Bear Creek and Hackleburg. We’ve got a lot of kids here.

“It’s good for these kids to get out and do this during the summertime instead of sitting around watching TV. They can get out, play some basketball and have some fun.”

The age groups at Hester’s camp range from first grade through sixth grade. This way girls of all ages that have yet to reach varsity playing age can participate. Hester’s camp focuses more on having fun, as well as some fundamentals.

“Some of the things we try and emphasize, of course you have to love basketball to have fun with it,” Hester said. “We try to get the kids to believe in themselves; not just in themselves but believe in their coach teammates as well.

“If you do all of those things, then you expect to win. That’s another thing we’re trying to teach them.

“Expect to win, show good sportsmanship and if you knock somebody down help them back up.

“Those are just some of the things we encourage here. Our shirts last year said ‘Got basketball? We do. Belgreen Basketball Camp.’”

Members of the Belgreen girls’ varsity basketball team help out there coach with the camp. This allows the younger girls a chance to meet the varsity team at BHS, and those varsity girls have a chance to give back to the community and have some fun playing basketball as well.

One of the main reasons varsity coaches put on such camps is because given enough time, a high school coach may have some of these younger girls playing on his or her team.

“Our team is very young, but our future is very bright,” Hester said. “We’ve got some players coming up from these lower grades.

“We have good numbers, and these girls love basketball. There is nothing you can do better in my mind than have a basketball camp, for boys or girls.”

Hester plans on running such a summer camp during each year of his coaching career, but every time a new event rolls around his goal for the participants remains the same.

“I think the kids will see some sportsmanship, they’ll have some fun, they’ll probably make some friends and fundamentally they should get a little bit better,” he said. “We work on shooting, passing dribbling and playing solid defense.”