Jonah Butler

Jonah Butler (forefront) dribbles the ball up the court during a drill at the overnight camp hosted by the Calloway County boy’s basketball team Friday night.

MURRAY — It can be assumed that the Laker basketball team had to put in a little extra effort to get out of their beds this morning. The team stayed up late hosting their overnight camp for 4th through 8th graders Friday night.

Head Coach Brad Cleaver had been excited about this camp for quite some time.

“This is a little something different, a camp that’s a little outside of the ordinary,” he said. “It’s all about getting our high school kids to connect with the younger kids in the community. They’re gonna be in here with us for a long time, so we’re gonna have some fun and eat some pizza, and we’re gonna work hard too.”

In an era where teenagers are so dependent on their phones, Cleaver hopes last night’s camp gave his team the opportunity to reconnect and build relationships with future basketball players.

“It’s not just the game of basketball. In an era that we live in with social media, it’s always good to put those things aside sometimes and just connect and be able to talk with some of the younger kids and connect on a personal level. It’s invaluable in today’s age, so that’s really what I want the (high school) kids to focus on, spending some quality time with the kids,” Cleaver said. 

However, last night was also a time for camp attendees to put in some work.

“We’ll be doing a lot of drills,” Cleaver said. “Everything from your basic fundamentals to more advanced skill sets. We’re gonna be here for a long time, so we’re gonna have the chance to work on a lot of things. Hopefully, these kids can learn some things to work on, and they’ll be tired when they go home. I’ll guarantee you that.”

This overnight camp is something that Cleaver wants to grow from year to year.

“It’s the best of both worlds to be able to learn the game of basketball, but it’s all really about developing relationships, and that’s what we want to create here in the program, that family atmosphere.”  

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