Almost 100 kids gathered around Anthony Lippe, cheering him on as his took aim from halfcourt. The first shot sailed through the air, falling inches short. His second shot clanked off the back of the rim.
By the time he went for his final attempt, the crowd was at full roar. The ball was on line and the campers held their breath in anticipation. Clank.
It was the only miss Lippe has had since becoming the new WCHS girls basketball coach.
Lippe’s latest attempt to revive basketball in the community was this week’s Elite Basketball camp, which drew almost 100 campers from grades 2-8 to Charlie Dalton Gym. Lippe, along with his staff and the WCHS girls team, were excited to work with what could be the next crop of Pioneers and Lady Pioneers.
“We are extremely happy with the turnout that we had for camp,” said Lippe. “We had two objectives – we wanted to make sure the kids were learning fundamentals and they were having fun.
“If we can make sure those two things happen, we feel they will come back year after year.”
Lippe held two-hour workouts over three days, culminating with a day of competition Thursday. Campers competed in events such as hot shot, free-throw shooting, intensity layups and Gotcha. Players reveled in the individual challenges before concluding the three-day camp with an ice cream party.
The event will help fund renovations for the Lady Pioneer locker room, just one of many ways Lippe is trying to revamp the program. He’s found little difficultly implementing changes as the community rallies around the team.
“It means a lot to us that so many kids came out this year and we are very appreciative of our community’s support,” said Lippe. “We’re making (the community) a priority so we make sure we give back to the people who give us the most.”
So far, it’s been a slam dunk for Lippe.