© Dave Mathieson - Amherst Daily News
Mia Furlong gets set to take a free throw during a shooting drill at the Vikettes summer basketball camp at Thursday at Amherst Regional High School.
AMHERST – Girl basketball players hoping to improve their game attended the five-day Vikettes basketball camp this week at Amherst Regional High School.
Three of those players are Sonia Minocha, Hannah Legere and Brooke Wilson.
“I want to improve my shooting and offence,” said Minocha.
“I’m working on my defence a lot,” said Wilson.
“I’m need to work on my cardio and dribbling,” said Legere.
Whatever part of their game they want to develop was made easy by the four different coaches attending the camp – Mount Saint Vincent coaches Sarah Rudderham and Mark Forward, Crandall University coach Nancy MacIntosh, and St. FX women’s head coach Augy Jones.
Jones was running the girls through drills on Thursday – 34 girls in the morning and 18 in the afternoon.
"We go over fundamentals but, ultimately, basketball is a game like chess is a game, or checkers is a game,” said Jones. “I want them to have fun, that’s a big priority.”
He also wants them to realize the game is difficult.
“It’s difficult to be really good at the game because there are so many aspects you have to be good at,” said Jones. “For me I want them to be good enough to enjoy the game. If I teach them to shoot better, and dribble better and pass better, then you will enjoy playing high school basketball much more.”
Jones said there are several talented girls at the camp.
“I enjoy doing camps in the communities because basketball isn’t all about who’s going to make university teams,” he said. “Although I am looking to see if there’s people with talent who I can follow.”
Vikettes coach Gillian Ellis is thankful to all the coaches who participated in the camp.
“The common theme they all preached is how important it is to communicate as a team and how important it is to focus as a player,” said Ellis. “Letting your teammates know where you are and what’s happening on the floor, and being a vocal player on the floor and on the sidelines.
"It’s amazing because girls love to talk but, for some reason, you get the in the gym and they all become quiet,” she added. “You have to get that out of them and get them talking more.”
She hopes the girls take what they learn to heart.
“It’s one thing to learn but it’s another to put it into practice,” she said.