THE Kalamunda Eastern Suns ran a skills camp for WABL-level players in April. The new initiative complemented its highly popular Super Camp for younger and domestic-level players – the next of which is from July 11 to 15.
The skills camp was very successful, with between 22 and 28 players attending each day, during the second week of the school holidays.
The clinic was staffed by Suns SBL players and featured daily guest appearances.
The boys and girls were put through advanced skills sessions. I received a lot of really positive feedback from parents. We wanted to give players some meaningful, elite training and some ideas that they could take away to work on in their own time.
An unexpected success story to come from the WABL camp centres on an eager boy in Albany at the time. At 14, Amos Smith showed great initiative in finding an opportunity outside his region to improve his basketball skills and knowledge.
He contacted me and arranged to attend the elite camp, despite not playing in the WABL, and being more than 400km away.
Amos attended all five days of the clinic and impressed the coaches as a very talented basketball player, with great potential. He enjoyed the experience so much that he urged his mother, Jane, to consider relocating the family to Perth.
One of the attractions to making the big move was the prospect of joining the Suns WABL program. “He feels really comfortable after the camp and that is where he would like to be,” Jane said.
However, one of the main considerations in moving away from Albany was finding a suitable school for Amos. He is a good student and did not want to break his academic momentum. Fortunately, one of the Suns SBL players who staffed the clinic, Travis McIlroy, and myself were able to help Amos earn a scholarship to Guilford Grammar School.
And, with that, relocation to Perth is a reality. “We really appreciate the support,” Jane said. “Those guys (McIlroy and Clarke) could be instrumental in a life-changing direction for Amos. His dad and I are really thankful.”
Buoyed by the success of the pilot project, the elite camp will be run again in the July school holidays. This time, there will be additional guest appearances and new ideas for players to take their game to the next level. Those interested can call Michael on 0428 977 021.