Raiders, Lady Raiders lead 2nd annual basketball skills camp

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A pair of young players practicing at this year’s Raider Basketball Skills Camp. (Sammy Confer/The Cullman Tribune)

GOOD HOPE, Ala. – Both the varsity boys’ and girls’ basketball coaches and players at Good Hope High School hosted the second annual Raider Basketball Skills Camp at Good Hope High School this week and after not having the chance to put the camp together last year due to COVID-19, it was fun for everyone to get back out on the court. Boys and girls ranging from third to eighth grade were invited to participate and this year’s event saw a record turnout of 55 young players.

Both varsity squads are coming off big seasons and have the Good Hope community buzzing about the upcoming season on the hardwood. Both teams won 4A, Area 11 championships and the Lady Raiders rode a stellar postseason run all the way to the elite eight before they were finally eliminated. Tanner Malin and Ivey Maddox each earned 4A All-State second team honors and Rudi Derrick received a 4A honorable mention at the end of the season.

Raiders Head Coach Drew Adams was really happy to see so many kids show up to participate at the camp and show their support of the program. Last year was a long one for nearly everybody in the sports world and he was excited to have a great turnout.

“It’s been an awesome few days,” Coach Adams said. “We weren’t able to have our camp last summer, so going into this summer everybody was kind of chomping at the bit to get back going and just to get back to some normalcy. We expected a pretty good turnout. We didn’t know we’d have 55 here, but it’s just been great to see such a big turnout.”

Coach Adams looked to keep things simple skill-wise and that’s what he instilled during the camp. Adams believes its critical for young players to become familiar with the fundamentals and the camp focuses on laying that foundation.

“We keep things simple with this stuff, especially with such a big number,” Adams said. “We focused on shooting, ball-handling, dribbling, passing, just the basics. Every good basketball player has to be good at the basic things.”

Adams believes that this camp will really help the kids get better in the basics and it will be beneficial for them in the long run. With both the boys and girls varsity programs enjoying success at Good Hope, the skills and lessons learned by the young players in the community this week will be important when it’s their turn to step up and play for the Raiders or Lady Raiders.

“I think it’s beneficial,” Adams said. “Basketball is a difficult game to be good at and you got to have different tools in your bag to be good. We’re just looking to kind of sharpen those tools a little bit. Obviously, it’s a short amount of time. We keep things simple, but I think this is something that will really help benefit them in the next couple of years.”

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