Hoop camp offers lots to talented kids

By: Matt Long
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Mike Wall enjoys his summers off from his teaching gig at Folsom High, but the one week he looks forward to returning to the school is the week of his Hi-Potential Basketball Camp. Wall, Folsom High’s varsity boys’ basketball coach, loves nothing more than teaching the game to self-motivated and skilled players. Seventy kids from fourth through ninth grade attended the camp last week, learning many of the finer points of the game. “With the Hi-Potential Camp, we go over the fundamentals really quick,” Wall said. “This camp is different because these kids can handle more advanced skills and concepts. Here they are learning the tricks to survive while playing against high-level competition. “We don’t tell these kids what a screen is; we tell them how to set a screen, how to come off one and the footwork to come off one and pin a guy.” In the nutshell, this is a camp for the highly-motivated player who has goals to learn and achieve at a high level. “The players make it a Hi-Potential Camp, but at the same time because of that we can teach them so much more,” Wall said. “Because of the talent and skill of the kids here, it makes for a great experience for everyone.” The camp ran Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Aside from the learning advanced skills and concepts, several guest speakers visited the camp to meet with the players, including Ryan Anderson, an 2005 graduate of Oak Ridge High and now a member of the Orlando Magic. Anderson discussed the value of being and staying motivated at a young age. Tony Johnson, a 2009 Folsom High graduate, gave a ball-handling clinic, while Danielle Viglione from Hoops 24 and John Fusano, Sierra College coach, and Jeff Bussell, assistant coach at William Jessup, also spoke to the group. The players also participated in several competitions, from 1-on-1 and 3-on-3 to 5-on-5 competitions among other contests. There were about 20 camp awards handed out at the end of camp.