Nicholls men’s basketball hosts annual summer camp


Photo by: Desmond Hunter

Assistant coach Rennie Bailey gives pointers to campers during 5-on-5 competition during J.P. Piper’s Day Basketball Camp.

Several local basketball fanatics have fun learning fundamentals from Nicholls State University men’s basketball team as young hoopers stuff Stopher Gymnasium for J.P. Piper’s Day Basketball Camp.

About 120 campers turned out this year, one of the largest turnouts in recent years. The campers ranged from first to seventh grade. The four day camp began Monday morning and ends later this afternoon.

The groups were split into three by age groups, the youngest being named, NCAA. The next oldest group was called the D-League, and the oldest was named NBA. After stretching and a few warm up drills, campers went into stations. During this time, the campers worked on different basketball fundamentals. Nicholls basketball players worked with each camper on individual basketball skills such as rebounding, and passing. Redshirt senior Schane Rillieux helped kids with their floater shot. The floater, also called the teardrop or runner, is a one-handed alternative to a lay-up or close range shot. The drill challenged shooters to put a good amount of arc on the ball when shooting, while avoiding the chance of the shot getting blocked.

“These basic fundamentals are best to begin practicing at a young age because you can develop your game and get better as you get older,” Rillieux said. “They really enjoy the drills and you can tell they have lots of fun.”

The sounds of sneakers screeching across the court matched the pace of the camp.  Many campers showed up with replicas of their favorite basketball player’s jersey on. Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans and LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers were the most popular jerseys in the camp.

“It’s cool helping out with the camp, I can remember when I was in their position,” Rillieux said. “They bring so much energy and are lots of fun to be around.”

The campers also participated in shooting competitions before breaking into five on five competitions. Teams were divided evenly based on evaluations by the coaches. Although boys dominated the camp, seven tough young ladies respectively held their own during the camp. Redshirt senior T.J. Carpenter enjoyed helping the kids that really wanted to get better at their game.

“The youngest group was probably my favorite bunch,” Carpenter said. “Most of them would ask me how to do a move or just ask general basketball questions like who my favorite player is.”

Many of the campers were happier to see their friends do well just as much as themselves. Some featured a few dance moves after scoring a basket. Occasionally, campers joined along with sophomore guard Quinton Thomas with a victory dance.

“Many of the campers in my group were jokesters for the most part,” Carpenter said. “I told one camper who my favorite basketball player was, which is Kobe Bryant. He laughed and responded, “The old guy that plays for the Lakers?” I had to realize what generation I was talking to, but I found that to be pretty funny.”