LAKEWOOD — New Cougars head basketball coach David Choi is jumping into his role early by hosting a basketball camp with help from Lakewood basketball players from July 8-11.
More than 40 kids attended the four-day camp, which focused on basketball fundamentals and sportsmanship.
“They are doing the bulk of the work. They are coaches and I’m the commissioner,” said Choi of the basketball team that helped train the campers. “I oversee things. Without them, I would be struggling. They are doing awesome. They are having fun and all the kids are having fun, too.”
Campers had the opportunity to learn a variety of basketball skills.
“We start pretty late so the campers have a lot of energy from the get go,” said Choi. “We are teaching all the fundamentals — dribbling, shooting. We have three rules: Rule No. 1 is ‘Get better,’ No. 2 is ‘Make friends,’ and No. 3 is ‘Have fun.’ Of course, above all, respect everyone.”
Although the camp was open to all skill levels, Choi said every camper was a skilled player.
“These kids are so good. All these kids can play ball. Every camp I’ve had there are always kids who can’t even dribble. Not here.”
Each day the campers follow a schedule including warm ups, station work, skills and drills, games, contests and more games.
“As a teacher, I realize that problematic situations occur only when kids are bored or not engaged, so we are keeping them busy,” said Choi. “Basketball is a fun sport to teach life lessons like dealing with adversity.”
Choi is in his first year coaching Cougar basketball and is hoping to help lead the program to a championship.
“This area is rich in basketball. Arlington’s Nick Brown has done a great job and Stanwood’s Zach Ward has done a great job, those two programs are on fire,” he said.
“I hope that this program will turn into something special. One thing I noticed is, you see the boys basketball champs on the wall? It’s the only sport, boys or girls, that doesn’t have a championship. That’s the goal, of course.”
Choi is glad that the summer basketball camp could help bond the players and the campers.
“It makes me feel good that these kids are being positively impacted, not that they are going to get into trouble but productivity is good.”
“This is a rewarding experience for the players and they are getting to know the kids in the area. All these kids look up to the players like they are Michael Jordan or LeBron James. It’s an opportunity to teach, and you learn by teaching.”