SUMMERSIDE - Forty youth recently had the opportunity of a lifetime, spending three hours in a basketball camp with coaches and players from the National Basketball League of Canada's Summerside Storm.
© Mike Carson/Journal Pioneer
Summerside Storm head coach Joe Salerno shows Sam Harris the tricks of getting by a defender during a basketball camp held at Three Oaks Senior High School on Sunday.
Storm head coach Joe Salerno headed up the clinic at Three Oaks Senior High where the pro players put the grade 6 to 9 students through some basic skills.
The experience was more than just a basketball clinic, said the coach.
"At the beginning of the camp I said ask questions. Don't just ask about basketball," said Salerno.
"Ask (the players) where they've travelled in their life. How they got there, the things they did to be successful that wasn't just on the floor."
Following the camp, one of the questions posed to the players was about other sports they played.
The Storm's Al Stewart quietly mentioned he participated in gymnastics and, on the urging of the kids and his teammates, performed a cartwheel.
Parents at the clinic were also encouraged to ask questions. One parent noted that the team has been extremely community-minded since they arrived in Summerside and asked, "What can we do to support you?"
Several players recalled that during the holiday season when some were unable to go home people opened their homes to those players.
Salerno said the best way to support the team is to go to the games because the players feed off that support.
Afterwards, the youngsters had a lot to say about the clinic:
"I learned a lot about communication and passing and I had a lot of fun today," said Tori Bond.
"I learned you've got to work at basketball to succeed," said Amy Tuplin. "It was crazy. They're all so energetic. It was a lot of fun."
"I learned a lot of things today," said Abby Donald. "I had a really fun time meeting new people and getting along with the Storm players."
"I learned lots of new stuff that I can use in games," Logan Cameron said. "It was a good experience with these guys. They're pretty funny and nice."
"I learned a lot of stuff about dribbling the ball," said Alex Gallant.
The Storm will hold a camp for high school students this Sunday at Bluefield.
A major four-day intensive camp is also set for Three Oaks over March break, the 19-22.
Registration forms are available at www.stormbasketball.ca.