By Joe Ostrica
Thirty-five girls, who will be entering grades 1-8 in the fall, attended the North Ridgeville girls basektball youth camp June 9-12. North Ridgeville High School head coach Amy Esser supervised the event at the home of the Lady Rangers.
“We’re really trying to get into the community and get kids interested in basketball,” Esser said. “Our numbers have been growing in the last couple of years and we really want to get more girls interested and keep them active and start them young in basketball. This youth program camp gets kids in the gym and gets them to know our older kids and used to working with them.”
Esser and her coaching staff like filling the youth basketball camps with as many activities as possible, and hope to get them involved with other camps in the near future.
“We’re trying to do as many things as possible with the little ones,” she said. “We want to do more than just the camps. Hopefully we’ll do some shooting clinics and other things to get them active in basketball. The younger we can start them off the better it will be for them and for the program.”
Esser was assisted by 10 high school athletes, including incoming freshmen, JV players and varsity players, who helped her with the young athletes. The high school volunteers compete to see who will be voted the favorite helper by the young campers.
“Our high school kids love doing this,” she said. “They love being around little kids. They’re very helpful and run the stations. They teach them how to shoot and dribble.
“It’s good for the younger kids to see those older athletes helping. They look up to them. My players are good at being role models and setting a good example.”
Esser said she is looking forward to when the new middle school is built, which will give more opportunities to young basketball players.
“Once we get the new school is built, we’ll have a lot more room and courts to accommodate the kids with activities, basketball camps and clinics,” she said. “We’re just trying to take the opportunity to introduce them into basketball and make them successful.”
Esser said she loves working with the children at the camps and helping introduce them to the sport she is passionate about.
“I like working with the kids and meeting them and their parents and getting to know people in the community,” she said. “To see the smiles on the little kids’ faces with a basketball in their hands, that right there is what it’s all about.”