Harwood girls' basketball camp gather at the center circle for a photo.

More than 40 players participated in this year's Harwood girls' youth basketball camp.“This was the 20th year of offering this camp and I couldn’t have been happier with the turnout,” said coach Tommy Young. “In order to build a solid basketball program, a coach must be involved in their feeder programs and connect with their athletes at a young age. It is important to develop skills and a love for the game.” 


Young, who coaches Harwood’s varsity girls’ basketball team, noted highlights from the camp:

“We focused all week on being part of a team and a program. A huge focus was on how we treat each other and work together. I talked a lot about how we handle when teammates make a mistake and the effect body language can have on a teammate. The big takeaway is you don't have to be best friends off the court but you are a family on it. To quote one of the second- to fourth-grade players, ‘I love that everyone is so nice here.’

“We had a great talk about competition. I love competition and think even practices should promote it. Everything we did all week and when players were being good teammates earned them points. The last day we gave out prize bags to the top two players from each camp. I discussed how when you compete someone will win and someone will not. As long as you give your best that is all you can ask for. The challenge comes when you look at your performance. If you wish to gain more you have to keep working. I asked them, ‘If you didn't win this week what will you do to get better for the next time?’

“I love that the girls had the opportunity to work with two of my [varsity] players,” Young said. “The younger players always enjoy this and connect quickly with them. For me it was great to see some of my players leading a group of girls in drills, skills competitions and just having fun with them. I also had my assistant coach Melody come in and talk with the girls too. Melody was a fantastic player in high school and college, and I loved that the girls got to meet another female that set goals and worked hard to achieve them (as a young athlete). One of my big things is to make sure female voices between players/coaches are prevalent in the program.”