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May Mania shines spotlight on basketball
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Gearing lessons around teaching the basics and developing sound fundamentals, Warren County High School coach Shea Panter held her May Mania camp last week in hopes of getting local kids excited about basketball. Her plan worked.
Over 80 kids attended the camp, which was split in two groups - K-4 grade and 5-8 grade boys and girls. Panter and her coaching staff were able to give hands-on lessons to their campers on the basics of shooting, passing, dribbling and defense over a period of three days.
It was exactly the kind of camp Panter has been working to establish during her years as a girls coach in Warren County.
"We really focused on ball handling, shooting form, footwork and defensive principles," said Panter. "For the younger children, it was more about ball handling and shooting form. We did more advanced lessons with our older group."
Camp began Tuesday with a three-hour morning session for the 5-8 grade group. The K-4 grade campers were in for two hours, where they were instructed by Panter and members of her coaching staff  - most who have played basketball in college.
On Wednesday, Panter held a mix-and-match day, where campers were encouraged to showcase their style - along with their newfound basketball skills. Thursday's theme was twin day, although Panter noted there were several triplets and some quadruplets in the crowd.
Campers participated in competitions daily, including games of hotshot, gotcha and relay races.
Panter began the camp in 2008 and it has grown every year since. While this was the eighth year Panter has put on the camp, it was the first time she opened it up to the younger group. It probably won't be the last.
"We really liked having the K-4 grade students. Their parents stayed and watched and each day we would have kids coming back to tell us how they had worked on the drills the night before," said Panter. "It's something we'll look to do in the future."
Gearing the camp to the younger children isn't the only way the Lady Pioneer coach has reached out. Recently, Panter took players to each school in the county to hold assemblies expressing the interest in developing school dribble teams.
The teams, which would be developed at each individual school, would be geared to children who aren't yet old enough to make school teams.
"Dribble teams would be something fun to get kids involved at an early age," said Panter. "They could come in during PE class and practice their routine, then come out and perform at halftime of girls games next year."
Panter will now turn her focus to the summer and  her Lady Pioneer team. Warren County will be attending camps across Middle Tennessee to prepare for next season.  The Lady Pioneers can begin winter practice Monday, Nov. 2.