Pine River youngsters show their skills at basketball camp

LEROY — Future Pine River Bucks were focusing on their basketball skills at a youth camp last week.

Varsity boys coach Brian Goodenow said he had between 25 to 30 youngsters for the three-day camp. Participants were between fourth through eighth grade.

“We really tried to stick with the basics,” Goodenow said. “We really emphasized ballhandling and did a lot of footwork. At our first-day camp, we had coach (Andy) Bronkema from Ferris, as a special guest. He spent some time working with them on shooting techniques and taught them some drills they can use.”

Douglas Dean was among the attendees.

“I’m here to know stuff about basketball,” Dean, 9, said.

Goodenow indicated most of the players have had previous hoops experience.

“Our youth program has been growing the last few years,” Goodenow said. “We’ve had some great volunteers that have been working with our fourth, fifth and sixth graders. They’ve had a taste of it even before they get to middle school. Even some fourth graders played a little bit last winter.”

The basics were emphasized and the smaller players focused on shooting techniques and forming a shot.

On July 24, Pine River will be going to Glen Lake for a scrimmage for the Bucks’ last organized event of the summer.

“We’ve had a good summer,” Goodenow said. “We had a team camp at Adrian. Kids played a lot of tough competition there including against Class A schools and we held our own. I was pleased with a lot of things we saw and learned a lot about our players. The new players learned a lot about fitting into the varsity level.”