‘We want the kids to have someone to look up to’: More than 60 participate in 3rd annual West Point Basketball Camp

More than 60 young players participated in this year’s West Point Basketball Camp led by Warrior players and coaches. (Sammy Confer/The Cullman Tribune)

WEST POINT, Ala. — The third annual West Point basketball camp has come to a close and more than 60 kids participated in this year’s event. The young players got the opportunity to learn hands on skills from West Point coaches and players Monday and Tuesday and varsity boys head coach Mason Voce was happy to see another great turnout at this year’s camp.

“We started the camp when I first got the job. That was one of the things that I wanted to get back on the calendar in the summer, so we just finished our third year. This year’s the biggest year we had. It’s grown and it’s been cool to see it grow and develop over the years,” Voce said. “It’s awesome. That’s what we want. We want the community to know that we care about these kids and we really do. It’s good for our kids to work with the young kids and then the young kids to be with our kids as well. It kind of gives more of a personal feel during the season and we like to go watch these kids play. It’s cool to see them grow and develop over the years.”

The kids worked on the basics during the camp, and they learned a lot from the coaches and the players.

“We worked on the basics: ball-handling, dribbling, shooting, and triple-threat. We’re trying to make it fun and give them a love for basketball,” he said. “I hope they learned a lot, whether it’s a left-hand closeout on a right-handed shooter, keeping the ball down with your head up dribbling, or defense slides. It might have been small, but it’s a fundamental that will help them as they get older and play more basketball.”

Coach Voce saw a lot of growth in the kids during the camp and he’s hopeful that more and more kids will come to the camp.

“I think they grew a lot. We’ve got good kids at West Point, and they show a lot of maturity. They were eager to learn, and they were easy to work with. That’s all we can ask for. We appreciate the parents for allowing them, trusting us to bring their kids to camp for two days, allowing us to spend six hours with them. We really enjoyed it and are thankful for the kids and the community for their support,” he said. “We hope it continues to grow. We hope that the brand of basketball that we play excites people in the community and excites the kids. It makes it to where more kids want to play and that’s our goal. We had 60-something kids that showed up this year and hopefully, more than 70 kids will show up next year. Quantity’s not everything, but we hope to see it continue to grow.”

Coach Voce talked about what’s key during these kinds of camps.

“I think the relationships are the biggest thing. It’s important to go over basketball and work on dribbling and shooting, but I think building that relationship with the current players and the future players and the coaching staff; I think, that’s the biggest thing. That’s what I look forward to the most: high-fives, talking with the kids, and laughing with them. The relationship part is the biggest thing to me. We want our current players to represent West Point the right way. There’s a lot of people that take pride in West Point athletics and we want the kids to have someone to look up to and look forward to being as they get older.”

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