SPARTA, NJ-Sparta girls were back in the gym at Sparta High School on Monday for Basketball camp. There were 60 girls from second through ninth grade participating this year. The camp is run by Sparta High School Physical Education Teacher and Varsity Girls Basketball Coach Catherine Willie. In addition to Willie there were a number of Girls Varsity players to assist as counselors and coaches for the week, including Jackie Foley, Grace Miller and 1000 point scorer Jamie Melville.
Former Sparta High School Varsity Basketball player and 1000 point scorer Brian Thomas attended as a speaker. He shared his experiences as a high school and college basketball player. He faced challenge of injury as a player for University of Rochester. He has coached at Montclair State University and Sparta High School. He is currently on staff at St Benedict’s Prep on Newark.
Steve Leo from the Parisi Speed School attended as a guest speaker as well. He showed drills and training programs that can help the girls on the court. Part of a national program, Parisi is located at White Lake in Sparta.
For the entire week students arrived at 9am and honed their skills with training and drills. On Friday the girls competed in grade level competitions such as free throws, one-on-one’s, timed block to block shot and timed elbow to elbow shot. The girls have several opportunities to improve and earn medals and awards.
"I love the WNBA 3-on-3 competition games," said 11 year-old Kate Ryan.
While some children may not think returning to school so soon is a good idea, the girls enjoyed their time at camp.
Emma Cilli, 11 years-old said, "I wish camp was longer than one week.”