Three age groups totaling 120 young basketball players learned the fundamentals of the game from professional basketball player Mike Smith and his staff during the 2nd Annual Mike Smith Camp held June 12-15 at Van-Far High School.
“This year’s camp was very successful,” Smith said. “I had so much fun with all the kids. Seeing them smile and have fun was the most important part for me.”
In this year’s camp, the first two age groups of students in 3rd-5th grades and 6th-8th grades each had approximately 45-50 players.
Fundamentals like dribbling, passing, defense, and shooting drills were the focus of the youngest group. The 6th-8th graders worked on fundamentals while incorporating a lot of competitive games and speed drills.
The close to 25 high school players had their camps run like a college practice.
“We worked on a lot of techniques and were able to get up and down the court a lot,” Smith added. “All age groups worked very hard.”
Smith’s helpers this year included his brother Matt Smith, sister Alicia Smith, mother Kelly Smith, and Tori Niemann of Canton, Mo. Niemann formerly played at the University of Missouri and is currently at Western Illinois.
“This wouldn’t be possible without the help of my family,” Smith said. “I truly appreciate their support and all their hard work to make (this) come together.”
Smith is also thankful for his sponsors and supporters for this year’s camp. They include Tina, Cami, and Erin of Bank of America; One Step Custom, Inc. of Auxvasse; Reid Insurance Agency of Bowling Green; Nick Lower Graphics; The Vandalia Leader; The Peoples Tribune; Log Hill Properties of Columbia; Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory of Omaha, Neb.; Teresa and Kevin Gosnell; and the parents of the campers.
What’s Next for Mike Smith?
Smith’s camp schedule is ending just in time for him to get married on July 13 to his fiancé Katie McMahon.
He has also signed on to play professional basketball in Liege, Belgium in the top league for this upcoming season. He leaves on August 12.
“I am excited for the opportunity and chance to get back to playing after coming off my hand injury,” Smith said.
Smith injured his hand in late 2012 after being drafted in the fifth round by the Iowa Energy of the NBA Development League.
Camp Winners, 3-Point Contest
3rd Grade Girls-1) Aiden Brown; 2) Mara Jenson; 3) Tylie DeTienne
3rd Grade Boys-1) Lamont McKinnie; 2) Nikkos Connaway; 3) Connor Eckler
4th Grade Girls-1) Meredyth Betts; 2) Devin Keller; 3) A’Brianna McHinne
4th Grade Boys-1) Brayden Heidecker; 2) Gavin Greenplate; 3) Nathan Perkins
5th Grade Girls-1) Panna Connaway; 2) Emma Barnes; 3) Grace Haden
5th Grade Boys-1) Hayden Finley; 2) Latrell Wright; 3) Ian Boston
6th Grade Girls-1) Morgan Bryan; 2) Kaylie Jones; 3) Alex Higgins
6th Grade Boys-1) Preston Eckler; 2) Kameron Worley; 3) George Niemeyer
7th Grade Girls-1) Maddie Roth; 2) Jayle Jennings; 3) Abbie Oetting
7th Grade Boys-1) Dajuan Harris; 2) Ben Cooper; 3) Trey Miller
8th Grade Girls-1) Jessica Sheil; 2) Emmalee Dameron; 3) Reaghan Case
8th Grade boys-1) Colten Jensen; 2) Brayden Christian; 3) Josh Hodde
9th-12th Grade Girls-1) Morgan Murry; 2) Jayda Borgmeyer; 3) Jordan Kellogg
9th-12th Grade Boys-1) Luke Dempsey; 2) Zach Richardson; 3) Brett Hubert
Camp Winners, Free Throw Contest
3rd Grade Girls-1) Tylie DeTienne; 2) Mara Jenson; 3) Aiden Brown
3rd Grade Boys-1) Lamont McKinnie; 2) Nikkos Connaway; 3) Jack Logan
4th Grade Girls-1) Sheldon Morris; 2) Devin Keller; 3) Chloe Kroencke
4th Grade Boys-1) Nathan Perkins; 2) Gavin Greenplate; 3) Bryson Lay
5th Grade Girls-1) Emma Barnes; 2) Panna Connaway; 3) Grace Dameron
5th Grade Boys-1) Latrell Wright; 2) Hayden Finley; 3) Ian Boston
6th Grade Girls-1) Taylor Sherrow; 2) Kaylie Jones; 3) Aubry Bunge
6th Grade Boys-1) Preston Eckler; 2) Avery Epperson; 3) Kameron Worley
7th Grade Girls-1) Abbie Oetting; 2) Maddie Roth; 3) Jayle Jennings
7th Grade Boys-1) Ben Cooper; 2) Trey Miller; 3) Bryson Heidecker
8th Grade Girls-1) Reaghan Case; 2) Jessica Sheil; 3) Emmalee Dameron
8th Grade Boys-1) Corbin Eckler; 2) Lathyn McMorris; 3) Ashton Couch
9th-12th Grade Girls-1) Jordan Kellogg; 2) Morgan Murry; 3) Jayda Borgmeyer
9th-12th Grade Boys-1) Zach Richardson; 2) Luke Dempsey; 3) Josh Runyon
Camp Winners, MVP
3rd-Carman Wilburn and Lamont McKinnie
4th-Shedon Morris and Gavin Greenplate
5th-Emma Barnes and Latrell Wright
6th-Morgan Bryant and Rylee Hanson
7th-Jordan Garner and Ben Cooper
8th-Jessica Sheil and Josh Hodde
9th-12th-Jordan Kellogg and Luke Dempsey