Camp Grizz drew in more than 75 children from the Lassen County community. Photo submitted

Camp Grizz crowds Cougar gym with local youth

More than 75 Local basketball-crazed children flocked to the Lassen College gymnasium to participate in Camp Grizz between Monday, June 26 and Thursday, June 29.

The four-day camp taught skills to players between ages 6 and 13 years, some of which were new to the sport while others had a few years of experience.

On Thursday, June 29, the Gladiators win the Camp Grizz Tournament. The Gladiators earned the win after facing Team Lassen, Red Claws and Trouble Makers. Photo submitted

The camp focused on many fundamentals of basketball. Some of the main skills taught were those of passing, dribbling, proper footwork and shooting.

In addition, the camp instructors were sure to help the children distinguish their roles offensively versus defensively.

The Lassen High School varsity girls’ basketball coach, Jessica Larson, said she has seen a ton of improvement from campers in the span of a few days.

According to Larson, by Wednesday, June 28, the young athletes had improved their footwork and their shooting percentage greatly in comparison to the start of camp.

In fact, Larson commented that a few young campers, who were previously inexperienced in basketball, approached her and happily exclaimed just how much they had improved.

In addition to the coaching Larson provided the young basketball enthusiasts, the camp had 16 counselors from the Lassen High girls’ junior varsity and varsity basketball teams.

Lily Fox, left, and Curtis Mallery work together during a scrimmage on Wednesday, June 28.

While at camp, athletes warmed up with games such as poison, dribble-tag and knockout. The games allow campers to warm up for the day as well as enjoy the company of their peers.

After a few games get the blood pumping, campers shift their focus to team skill building. Dividing campers into teams allows more individual attention and gives the children the ability to learn basketball skills easier.

Finally, the campers are given the chance to put the newly learned skills to the test.

The children were divided into eight teams based on their height. They then played against one another during 10-minute scrimmages.

On Thursday, the coaches and counselors used the results of the many scrimmages to create a bracketed tournament.

The tournament started out with Dunkin’ Doughnuts taking on All Stars, Trouble Makers playing against Thunderstorm, Gladiators versus Team Lassen and finally, Blue Hoopers against Red Claws.

The end of the four games produced four champions: Dunkin’ Doughnuts, Trouble Makers, Gladiators and Red Claws.

From there, the four victors challenged one another with respect to their listed order.

The championship game saw the Trouble Makers take on the Gladiators in a fierce battle between the nets. Ultimately, the Gladiators emerged as the Camp Grizz Champions for 2017.

At the end of camp, each athlete left with memories as well as a new basketball to claim as their own.

Brianna Dean, middle, dribbles the ball down court with support from teammates Clayton Biggs, left, and Jazlene Meza during a scrimmage. Photo by Ashley Grogan
Gabe Morrison, left, Kayden Aumann, Brady Kemp and Danny Davidson keep tensions high during a scrimmage game at Camp Grizz. Photo by Ashley Grogan