WEST LIBERTY - The first thing one needs to run a sports camp is credibility.
Let's face it, parents aren't going to hand over their hard-earned money to a coaching staff that just finished a 4-28 season.
In that regard, West Liberty men's basketball assistant coach Ben Howlett has a lot going for him as he prepares for another Hilltopper Basketball Camp, this year's event scheduled for July 20-23. After all, the Hilltoppers are coming off a national runner-up season in which they captured the inaugural Mountain East Conference regular-season championship as well as another regional crown.
But, hey, let's take it a step further. West Liberty has won Atlantic Region championships four straight years and led the nation in scoring in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2014.
The staff at the upcoming camp, which is for all boys entering grades 4-12, is made up of Howlett and a handful of quality college and high school coaches. Members of the West Liberty team will serve as camp counselors.
So, you ask, what will I get for the $250 fee, which includes a $50 deposit at time of application?
For starters, the camp will focus on offensive development, which includes shooting the basketball and 1-on-1 offensive moves will be emphasized every day. There will be lectures and demonstrations given daily by college basketball players and coaches.
Morning sessions stress the development of fundamentals and improving the individual skills of each player. Afternoons are filled with team drills, competitions and league games, while the evening sessions feature league play and recreational activities.
Speaking of those leagues, campers are going to be divided into three leagues. Teams will play approximately three games a day, and they will be formed according to age and ability.
Overall, each player will compete in 10-13 league games, including a tournament on the final day. The maximum number of players on a team, is eight.
All of this will be held in the Academic, Sports and Recreation Complex, a $10.5M complex that features four air-conditioned playing courts and an indoor running track. A professional medical trainer will be on duty at all times.
For the record, the total fee covers room, meals, instruction, T-shirt and other camp expenses (campers should carry a small amount of cash with them). It should also be noted that the $50 deposit is 100-percent refundable if notice is received by July 10. Parents will be sent an email notice when deposit is received, along with additional information and items to bring.
The Hilltopper camp gives families the choice of commuting daily or staying on campus. If you elect the latter, campers will be housed two per-room in the air-conditioned college dormitories to monitor and provide assistance as needed. Campers will provide their own linens and will be provided with three balanced meals a day.
Check-in will be between 1-3 p.m. on Sunday, July 20, and campers will depart at approximately noon on Wednesday, July 23. Arrangements can be made for early or late arrivals and departures.
For more information, contact Howlett by phone in his office at (304) 336-8234, or at home, at (740) 525-8234.
Shawn Rine can be reached via email at: email@example.com