‘The kids have bought in’ 0
Vince Martel, a Grade 9 student who attends Jeanne Lajoie High School, gets past Hugh Meyer, the creator of a high performance basketball camp, who was running the Ottawa Valley Basketball Academy, which for the past nine days was held at Fellowes High School. A total of 64 people were put through their paces in the intensive clinic, which helped them hone their skills on the court.
A total of 64 primary and secondary students decided to head to school two weeks earlier than their peers, but it wasn’t to hit the books.
Instead, the students hit the basketball courts of Fellowes High School as they took advantage of the chance to hone their skills in the sport, as part of the Ottawa Valley Basketball Academy.
The nine-day basketball clinic saw the first five days held for Grades 5-8, the rest for Grades 9-12.
It was headed up by Hugh Meyer, the creator of a high performance camp in his name and the former coach of the Timmins High and Vocational School. The award-winning coach has five provincial championships under his belt, taking home gold in OFSAA, plus four silver and five bronze in their trips to the Ontario finals.
He won the 1999 Reebok National Invitational Tournament, collected some 102 invitational tournament titles and has a career record of 1,021 wins, and only 214 losses.
Meyer and a group of instructors, including Fellowes coach Pat Childerhose, put the players through their paces in an intensive clinic complete with drills, proper forms and stances, one-on-one tutoring and classroom work, all designed to get their minds into the game by focusing on the fundamentals.
This is the second time Meyer and his associates have conducted a clinic at Fellowes. Over the Easter weekend, they put 17 members of the Falcons basketball team through their program.
Rick Scragg, one of the instructors and a former player of Meyer’s, said the clinic has been a great experience for everyone because the participants are taking it seriously.
“The kids have bought in and because of that, we’re having a lot of fun,” he said, noting they are very attentive and listen well.
Scragg said the clinic is much more than just basketball. A big part of it is teaching the skill of concentration, which can be applied anywhere in life.
He is also impressed with the dedication of Childerhose, saying in this age of increased pressures on time and workload, it is magical to see someone willing to give up their time to do something like this for others.
“If I can help him in any way, I’m there.”
Childerhose said this has been a new experience for him, and so far, all he’s heard is positive things from both players and their parents.
“It’s not easy to get kids to give up part of their summer holidays,” he said.
“I wanted to give them the opportunity to develop their skills,” he said, noting both girls and boys turned out in near equal numbers to take advantage of the camp.
If he had his way, there will be a return of the Ottawa Valley Basketball Academy next year.
“I think it is definitely worthwhile,” Childerhose said.
Stephen Uhler is a Daily Observer multimedia journalist