Sports

July 19, 2013

Youth learn basketball skills

Tom Kuyper walks among the children participating in a basketball camp held July 8 through 12 at the Luke Air Force Base Youth Center. Kuyper helps the children with tips and pointers as they practice walking and dribbling between their legs.

The children of Luke members had a unique experience this summer during a week-long camp sponsored by the 56th Force Support Squadron Youth Center.

The Tom Kuyper Basketball Camp came to Luke July 8 through 12 and taught children basketball skills. Younger children learned to dribble, shoot and move down the court. Older children learned a bit more advanced skills like dribbling styles, ball control while running and how to increase shot effectiveness.

Kuyper has been a basketball player for nearly as long as he can remember. A successful high school career led to a basketball scholarship at Arizona State University, where he was selected to the all-PAC-10 academic team during the 1981 to 1982 season. After graduating from ASU, he played two years in the European Professional League in France.

A group of the children at the youth center basketball summer camp work on shooting skills. The children were broken into two groups. The older children worked on advanced skills while the younger worked on dribbling, shooting and moving.

While playing in the European Professional League, part of Kuypers professional contract including coaching children’s basketball teams. In 1983, he began coaching five-year-olds who spoke no English. That language barrier created a real incentive for him to learn the language. In the midst of all that, he found he had a gift for working with children. It was through this experience and his subsequent 15 years of sports that he learned the things unique to coaching children.

 




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