Basketball camp teaches more than game
Story and photo by Airman 1st Class CORY GOSSETT, 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Children participated in the annual Tom Kuyper Summer Basketball Camp July 8 through 11 at the Luke Air Force Base Youth Center.
“The Tom Kuyper basketball camp gives kids the opportunity to participate in something fun no matter what skill level they are,” said Brenda Holmes, 56th Force Support Squadron Youth Center sports director. “It also gives parents peace of mind knowing their child is in a safe environment.”
Tom Kuyper basketball camp is held every summer at Luke and occasionally during the winter break when children are out of school. The camp is open to boys and girls ages 8 to 16 and is open to military affiliated families, retired military families and Defense Department civilians. The camp is for beginners or for seasoned ball players of any skill level. The camp teaches core basketball and game skills.
The camp is broken into two parts, which allows children to learn core basketball skills in the first half and then apply them in the second half.
“The camp is structured so kids can develop basic basketball skills as well as game skills,” Kuyper said, basketball coach and founder of the camp. “We break it down into the different components of the game, ball handling, proper techniques for shooting, rebounding, defense and offense.”
One of the concepts the children are taught at the camp is BEEF, which is an acronym for Balance, keeping Eyes on the ball, using the Elbow and Following through. The camp breaks down techniques so children at any skill level can understand and improve themselves. The second half of the camp is where they apply the skills and techniques they’ve learned.
“Once kids have grasped the basic skills, we have them apply what they’ve learned by playing challenge games,” Kuyper said. “In the baseline challenge, they play a one-on-one game and apply the skills they learned throughout the camp. We also have the kids participate in shooting competitions, as well as play three- on-three and five-on-five matches in a timed setting.”
The camp isn’t just about game skills, children are also taught important life skills they can use every day.
“Each day we have a core word like sportsmanship or integrity,” Kuyper said. “We constantly talk with the kids about these throughout the day. We use the platform of basketball to reach their hearts to help build skills and values they can use in their everyday lives.”
It’s great having Tom Kuyper come out and hold this camp on base, Holmes said.
“We have kids who have been in the camp for a few years now, and they know him, the parents know him, and they know he puts on a camp that everyone can enjoy.”
Warrior PT Challenge
The next warrior PT challenge is 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 5 in the Combat PT Center. It will be a CrossFit-style workout. There will be teams of four, two male and two female participants, will compete in three events. The top three teams will get trophies. To volunteer, judge, compete or for more information, call Sherri Biringer at 623-856-6241.
Suns basketball clinic
The Phoenix Suns Summer Youth Basketball Clinic is 12:30 to 5 p.m. July 31 at U.S. Airways Center. The cost is $6 per youth. For more information, call 623-856-7470.
Youth Ping-Pong tourney
The Luke Air Force Base Youth Center is conducting a Youth Ping-Pong tournament 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. for ages 9 to 12 and 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. for ages 13 to 18 Tuesday and July 29 at the youth center. For more information, call 623-856-6225.
Family golf month
July is family golf month at Falcon Dunes Golf Course. Juniors, to age 17, play for free with a paying adult. For more information, call 623-535-9334.
The Luke Air Force Base Bryant Fitness Center is holding a men’s bodybuilding/physique and women’s physique, figure and bikini competition at 5 p.m. Aug. 16 at the Luke Air Force Base Theater. For more information, call 623-856-6241.