Windsor Elite Perimeter Skills Camp: Basketball lives in The City of Roses

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FOLLOW TOM MORRISON ON TWITTER @M_T_MORRISON & NPH @NORTHPOLEHOOPS

WINDSOR, ON–Think of Windsor and what’s the first thought that comes to mind? Perhaps border town, Spitfires, lunch buckets and auto industry . . . most likely.

There is however, another product being manufactured on a consistent basis that is starting to get Windsor noticed and it’s basketball – specifically basketball players. Windsor is back on the map with the likes of Lien Phillip who will be representing Canada this summer at the FISU games in China; Isaac Kuon named CIS All-Canadian this year; Jessica Clemençon the BLG top female CIS athlete and Nan Copp award as most outstanding CIS athlete this year. 

Many others are making their way up the ladder towards a bright future in basketball, namely Miroslav Jaksic from W. F. Herman Secondary School currently playing for the Cadet Men’s National Team in the FIBA Americas U16 Championships in Cancun, Mexico.

It’s been said that “either you have it or you don’t” when it comes to talent. However, many skills are honed over years of excellent instruction and the dedication to practice which results in the rewards mentioned above. Many coaches say that the only facet they can’t teach is height and while this is true, some coaches appear to make giants out of the little guys by instilling in them the belief that they can do whatever task is set out before them, thus giving them the confidence to stand amongst their towering competition.

To that end, basketball camps have become great incubators for talent and progression in skill development. One such camp that NPH recently attended was the University of Windsor Elite Perimeter Skills Camp for ages 8 – 16. This eight hours of instruction over two days was attended by over 45 eager ballers looking to take their existing talents to the next level. Particularly, what I found interesting about this camp was that the female contingent was responsible for almost half of those in attendance. 

It seems at times in coverage of this sport that most of our attention is directed towards the men, but through personal experience, I’ve found the women provide just as much excitement and anxious moments as the men do. This past season is proof of that as the University of Windsor saw a much increased crowd of supporters at all of the Lancer women’s games.

With that in mind, the girls at this particular camp really seemed to respond to their female coaches Miah-Marie Langlois (Lancer PG) and Jocelyn LaRocque (Lancer G).  

The students watched and listened to them intently, surely with thoughts of ‘this could be me one day’ running through their minds. These two Lancer women, knowingly or not, just became role models for these young girls – some in organized club ball while others playing school ball, but all looking to increase their skill level no matter the age. Lancer head coaches Chantelle Vallee and Chris Oliver believe in their player’s commitment to community as part of their personal growth that will go on to serve them well in whatever they do in life, in fact Lancer forward Andre Smyth captured this year’s Ken Shields Community Award.

The Lancer men also have to be mentioned here. Josh Collins (Lancer G) and Enrico Diloreto (Lancer G) put the boys and girls through their paces providing excellent demonstrations for the skills/drills.  All coaches led by Lancer head coach Chris Oliver put on a great camp complete with a lot of laughs to put anxious and nervous campers at ease. Even the smallest of ballers got one-on-one attention to make sure they understood the drill and more importantly, why and how it would be used in a game situation. 

In a nutshell, Windsor’s basketball future is in good hands.

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