Over 100 kids from Yuma showed out to learn the ropes on the court in four-day camp
YUMA, Ariz., (KYMA, KECY) - Thursday marked the fourth and final day of another edition of the Arizona Western College summer basketball camp - and it did not disappoint.
After the 12th hour of basketball fun, over 100 kids from Yuma County left the House Gymnasium with smiles on their faces. Some campers would leave with cool signatures from the camp coaches, while each and every one of them would leave with a camp picture, and of course, lifelong memories.
And it's something Matador men's head basketball coach, Kyle Isaacs, remembers fondly from his childhood that he has carried with him to his days on the sideline now.
"It was a great week. Really encouraging that we had that big of a turnout," said Isaacs. "I went to camps and we always got camp photos. I was lucky my mom saved all of them and you can go back and remember that one person that you may never see again in your life. It's just a really unique thing to hold onto."
The kids would also leave learning more than they may have imagined in just a short four days of hard work - even lessons carried off the floor.
"It was great and super fun. It was a life changing experience," said Woodard Junior High School student, Dominic Montialli. "I learned leadership skills and communication skills."
While the week flew by quickly, it may have also been a surprise as to just how productive it was.
"Camp was really fun actually," said Centennial Middle School student, Riley Anderson. "One thing that I learned was to never give up and always try your best."
The camp featured drills and tons of games to keep the campers involved and active throughout each day - focusing on fundamentals that they could take with them to next winter. In doing so, it took a lot of help to make it happen.
Along with Isaacs and men's assistant coach, Carter Roe, the camp coaches also featured several local area high school coaches - like Kofa's Jeff Frazine, San Luis' Marcus Weeks and Antelope's Angel Esparza and Sonny Figueroa.
While getting 1% better at basketball each day is always the goal, it was set up to just be a bonus for all of the life lessons packed into the week - goals that go beyond the game and can be applied in many ways.
"We have four different themes of the day and my favorite one is on day one: 'both feet in.'" added Isaacs. "What we try to embark on all of these kids is you can take this and not only apply it to basketball, baseball, softball, soccer, whatever it is that you're playing, but you can apply it to life and your academics. Anything you do, with both feet in, you have to go full force and give it 100%."
Overall, it was a great turnout with lots of energy to fill the House Gymnasium. Isaacs and company encourage campers and parents to be on the lookout for the next winter camp to come in January.