Springwood to host third annual youth basketball camp

Published 11:05 am Friday, May 31, 2024

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For the third straight year, Springwood is a destination for young athletes to grow their fundamentals on the hardwood as the Wildcats host their third annual youth basketball camp. 

The camp takes place on June 3-5 from 9 A.M. until 12 P.M. each day. The cost per camper is $85 and it includes a t-shirt along with several prizes to be awarded throughout the camp. 

Springwood’s varsity basketball teams help facilitate the camp, and it serves as one of the main sources of funding for all the activities the Wildcats do throughout the summer. 

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“The camp for us is huge as far as fundraising goes because it does provide us with the funds to take varsity girls and varsity boys to the team camps we do in the summer as well as the playdates,” Springwood coach Lisa Sampson said. “We cover those costs so parents don’t have to.” 

The boys’ basketball team is set to attend two university team camps and two playdates this summer while the girls are attending Troy University’s team camp and three playdates. In the past, the funds from the youth camp have been able to completely fund the camps and playdates. 

The campers that attend the camp will be taught the fundamentals of basketball while also competing in competitions each day. 

The camp also helps Springwood’s basketball players develop their fundamental skills while coaching the younger athletes. The Wildcats graduated several players last season and will rely on younger players like Tucker Sides, Aidan Carey, Wes Carden and transfers in 2024-25. 

The camp gives the younger and newer players an opportunity to learn how things work at Springwood while also indoctrinating themselves in the Springwood community. 

“June itself is just a great opportunity for us to build our team chemistry,” Sampson said. “This is where it all comes together. The kids have figured out the importance of putting in the work in the summer.” 

“We lost a lot of seniors, a lot of great kids. We’re really excited about the new kids we have coming in as well as the younger guys that are really showing promise,” Sampson added. 

The camp is led by Sampson, Springwood’s players and legendary basketball coach Jon Ciampi. 

Ciampi helps facilitate the teaching of the fundamentals at Springwood’s camp. Ciampi, who is also Sampson’s father, coached Auburn’s women’s basketball team and won more than 600 games at the Division I level. 

“The great thing about my dad helping out is that he really does help with the basics,” Sampson said. “The fundamentals are very important to him and have always been that way. This is a time for our kids if they already know proper shooting form, to really focus on it. Those younger kids coming up are going through the camp just to learn the basics of the game. That’s the foundation that we’re trying to lay at Springwood so these kids can continue to develop and be successful when they get to the JV and varsity levels.” 

Sampson already believes that this will be the biggest group of campers that the camp has hosted, with the Wildcats seeing an increase in the amount of junior varsity players attending the camp. 

The camp is important from a basketball perspective, but it also gives kids the opportunity to be active during their summer vacation. 

“It’s so important to be active no matter what you’re doing,” Sampson said. “It’ll be work … but it’s a lot of fun too.”