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Shelby Township, Sterling Heights, Utica

Eisenhower holds basketball camp for young kids

July 29, 2013

The Utica Community Schools district has the perfect summer camp for kids who don’t plan to travel — at least on the court.

UCS Community Education is offering a three-day summer camp, Itty Bitty Basketball, July 30-Aug. 1 in the Eisenhower High School gym in Shelby Township.

In an email, district spokesman Tim McAvoy said the basketball camp has been offered for more than 10 years. “The camp is taught by Eisenhower basketball coaches and current varsity players,” he said.

According to camp director Kevin Donahue, the program is now entering its 11th year. Donahue said he originally started the program to help teach one of his sons how to play basketball, and he has since taught a younger son through the camp, too.

“I think it’s a great program,” he said. “It does a lot to help kids build a foundation for athletics. … There’s a lot of transfer value of what we give. It’s really over 90 percent on building skills.”

According to the school district, the camp will teach youngsters how to exercise their motor skills and hand-eye coordination so they can dribble, shoot and perform other aspects of the sport. Donahue said smaller basketballs and age-appropriate basketball hoops will make the experience more suitable.

When the kids are ready, they can play some one-on-one games or even play on small teams, he said.

“I think that for kids to participate and develop a healthy and active lifestyle, you have to have successes,” he said. “By getting them in the gym at a young age … it encourages them to continue to develop it and grow.”

According to Donahue, turnout varies depending on the year, ranging from around 120 at its peak to a more typical 40-60 students. The camp is open to boys and girls from kindergarten through third grade, and kids need not live in the district to participate.

“We have a lot of kids from Clinton Township, Romeo,” he said. “I had a girl from Fenton.”

The Itty Bitty Basketball camp will run 9-11:30 a.m. July 30-Aug. 1 at Eisenhower High School, 6500 25 Mile Road, in Shelby Township. Admission is $70. Space is limited. Learn more by calling (586) 797-6900.

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