With the basketball season only six weeks out, some of the regions top hoops players have been heading over to the Batavia High School gym two days a week to drill on the game's fundamentals -- shooting and ball handling.
"It's a lot of skill work and a chance to get a ball in their hands," said Buddy Brasky, Batavia's boys varsity head coach and leader of the mini-camp, which he's been running for about six years.
Jeff Redband, a junior with Batavia, has been coming to the camp for five years, said his participation has definitely improved his game.
"This camp is based on the basics, so you don't learn new stuff, but it makes you better at the things you really need to know," Redband said.
Each session includes ball-handling exercises and shooting drills, but Brasky noted drilling just two days a week isn't going to cut it. The 45 players participating -- which range in age from eighth grade to high school seniors -- need to practice and play every day if they're going to improve.
"We tell them you can only do so much here," Brasky said. "You've got to take what we do here -- we're only here two days a week -- and go home and do it on your own at home."
One of the drills involves shooting 100 baskets from at least 12 feet out, but that's just a drop in the bucket for the amount of practice necessary to become a competent shooter.
"The games give them the opportunity transfer what they're learning in skills in a game situation," Brasky said.
"You've got to get a couple hundred shots in a day," Brasky said.
Following drills, the players break off into four-on-four games, which give the kids a chance to play against players from all over the region, not just Genesee County and not just their own schools.
All that drilling on fundamentals has really paid off for Elba's Haley Brown.
"It helps a lot," Brown said. "It's made me a lot better shooter and ball handler and it shows during the season."
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