The four-day camp was held at the Atascadero Middle School
ATASCADERO — From June 20-23, basketball lovers ages 8-15 learned new skills and a love for the game at Baller Hoop Camp. The four-day, 32-hour intensive camp was put on by local basketball player and Atascadero High School boys basketball coach Augie Johnston and took place at Atascadero Middle School.
“We had about 80 kids this year, and it’s a great camp where you get eight basketball games, five-on-five games, you get a three-on-three tournament,” said Johnston. “We do over 20 hours of skill development, and it’s really just designed to help kids fall in love with the game and learn the fundamentals on how to play the right way.”
Though the Baller Hoop Camp has a lot of returning athletes, close to 50% of the campers are new to the game. Johnston said that the camp caters to multiple age groups and features different leagues. The younger groups are mainly made up of new players, whereas the older group is normally kids who’ve been playing the game and coming to camp for years.
“Our older group is normally pretty experienced,” Johnston said. “They’re kids that have been coming to our camp for three or four years. We have a lot of people coming back. By the time they’re in ninth grade, it’s their last year. They show a lot of leadership and help all the younger kids get through the week.”
While the majority of campers are from Atascadero, Johnston stated that more athletes from out of town showed up this year than he’s seen before. There were kids from Paso Robles, Templeton, and San Luis Obispo. Johnston chalks it up to a lot of word of mouth.
“We really game apply everything. Everything’s a competition, and that’s what the kids really like. They like competition. They don’t want to just do a shooting drill; they want to do a shooting drill that’s a competition. It [the camp] is really designed for the kid to fall in love with the game, and then from there we feel like if they love the game, then they’ll be motivated to work harder,” Johnston stated.
All four days of the camp, there was a $100 half-court shot. The coaches also put on skits, and there were film sessions with video breakdowns. Themes like excellence, work ethic, character, and teamwork were also a main focus of the Baller Hoop Camps. And every day has a different theme.
“I want to give a shout-out to all the coaches that help out with the camp because they do such a good job,” Johnston said. “A lot of them this year actually attended the camp many years ago, so I thought it was like an extra special camp because they gave it their all because they knew what it meant to them, and they kind of took ownership of it.”
This year’s camp coaches were: Noah Abma, Corbin Rossi, Evan Borders, Brad Zimmerman, Alex Engel, Case Bruton, Kayden Main, Dave Banan, Logan Davis, and Kevin Eimers.
Baller Hoop Camp is held once a year and will be back next June.