Youngsters learn hoop skills at annual Marysville Pit camp


Carter Dunn (left) tests his ballhandling skills against Marysville High School hoopster Jack Christian. The drill was conducted this week during MHS’ Basketball in the Pit camp. (Journal Tribune photo by Tim Miller)

Thursday wrapped up the second and final session of Marysville High School’s boys Basketball in the Pit camp.
The program has been conducted every summer at MHS for several decades and was started by retired head coach Jim Kaufman.
It continued through coaches Scott Forney and Ken Chaffin and remains with current head coach Ryan Grose.
The 2020 Pit camp was conducted differently this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Campers from grades 3-9 have, in the past, been in camp for one week in early June.
Youngsters had been always divided into morning and afternoon sessions.
In order to not have nearly 100 campers in the high school building during the same week, sessions this year were split.
Basketball players going into grades 7-9 for the 2020-21 academic year were in camp July 6-9.
Those going into grades 3-6 began their sessions Monday of this week and concluded at noon on Thursday.
“During past camps, we would have a lot of kids work in particular stations on the court in the high school gym and field house,” said Grose. “This year, we’ve pared the number of players at each station to help maintain social distancing.”
Numbers for the 2020 Pit camp were lower than in previous years.
“We had 46 youngsters this week in our final session and 52 for the first camp,” said Grose. “That’s between 20 and 30 fewer than we’ve had in total during previous years, but that’s to be expected with COVID-19.
“Families are just being cautious during this time and I get that,” he said.
The Monarch coaching staff took measures during both sessions in order to help maintain the health and safety of everyone involved.
Coaches wore masks during the camp and players were asked to use their own basketball.
“We also spaced out chairs six feet apart for the kids when we took breaks or when they weren’t involved in a drill,” said Grose.
There was one advantage to having fewer players in camp.
“It allowed us to focus more individual attention on each player,” said the Monarch head coach. “We concentrated on teaching fundamentals and built in a few competition-type contests for fun.
“The kids were excited to be back in the gym, after they had been in the pandemic lockdown for so long,” said Grose.

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