DON KETCHUM is a native of Phoenix. He was a sportswriter for The Arizona Republic/The Phoenix Gazette for nearly four decades. He covered high school sports on several occasions as well as the Arizona Diamondbacks, Arizona Cardinals and Arizona State sports. From 2008-14, he was a staff writer for, the web site of the Arizona Interscholastic Association.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Basketball players have more bounce to the ounce

Bounce, bounce bounce . . .
It is summer, but Xavier Prep’s McGrath Gymnasium is anything but quiet.
The gym has been buzzing with activity each afternoon this week with the school’s annual basketball camp from 2-4 p.m.
The camp is led by Gators coach Jen Gillom along with junior-varsity coach Patrick Mangosing and freshman coach Laura Forbes. About nine of Gillom’s returning varsity players are assisting with the drills.
“Having the varsity players here to interact with the younger ones is helpful,’’ Gillom said.
There are about two dozen players involved, ranging from grades 5 through 9. Seven campers will be freshmen this fall and will have the opportunity to find the level that fits them best.
“They will know more about what to expect when the tryouts begin,’’ Gillom said.
There are a number of fun activities – including dribbling relays and shooting competition. Then the athletes move on to stations that have them concentrating on ball-handling, layups and, yes, even post moves.
About half the girls have been on club teams and all are taking an aggressive approach.
“I didn’t really expect that at first, but it is a good thing,’’ Gillom said. “It doesn’t seem to matter how big they are, they are all in there fighting for the ball.’’

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