Racer basketball camp draws a crowd

Campers in attendance on Tuesday gathered on the court for a defensive drill led by Marcus Smith. He had them moving laterally and backwards before finally having them close out with their hands up in a defensive posture.

MURRAY —  With summer winding down, kids had one last chance to partake in a summer athletics camp and over 100 took advantage of the Racer basketball camp that started on Monday.

Current and former Racers, including Jonathan Stark, intermixed to help run the camp put on by head coach Matt McMahon. Kids ages 7-12 got to interact with these players one-on-one and for them that’s the best part of these camps.

“I think it’s a lot of fun for the kids in our community to come other and get to interact with our players,” McMahon said. “I know our players really enjoy that part of it and we’ve had record numbers this summer. We have 112 7-12-year-olds here this week and they are just having a good time.”

With such a large group of kids participating, they had to be broken down into smaller groups based on age and skill so that they could have the best camp experience possible. 

At one point, new Racer Matt Smith had to take on youngster Ty Wiles from Mayfield in a one-on-one 24 second game and Wiles didn’t back down from the challenge. In fact, he slapped the floor defensively to let Smith know he was locked in. 

Wiles walked away with a story because he tied Smith with a buzzer-beater to make the score 1-1.

“It’s an important aspect of camp,” former Graduate assistant and camp coordinator Marcus Smith said. “Kids love that one-on-one time and that’s a part of the enjoyment. They get to talk about it and tell their friends and family what they experienced at compound that’s what it’s about. You want to make an experience for them.”

He added that the growth of the kids during these camps is what keeps him coming back for more.

“I’ve been doing camps for 12 years now and it’s amazing to see these kids grow up in camp,” Smith said. “That’s the most best thing I get out of this. Just watching these kids develop and grow up in camp and it always gives me energy to come back and keep coming back because I love the environment.”

Kids were definitely having a good time with a smile on every face as they took part in drills and shootout competitions, some involving guys like Tevin Brown. 

Meanwhile, at Stark’s station he had the kids working on ball handling with a fun competitive game and that’s what he said the purpose of camp is.

“I love coming back just to be around the kids and just to have a little fun with the new players and interact with everyone,” Stark said. “It’s all about having fun.”

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