HOULTON, Me (WAGM) - Youth basketball players gathered in Houlton today to attend a one day camp that featured Maine Red Claws players Ralph Sampson III and Malcolm Miller as coaches.
"We'll be teaching them basic fundamentals, like foot work and having their feet in front of them and balance stuff. Of course ball handling drills to work on dribbling, shooting drills and passing drills. Just letting them get to know the game," said Malcolm Miller of the Red Claws.
"It's a lot of fun and they're teaching us a lot. It's really cool to have the experience with them," added camper Blake King.
Players were tested in several areas of the game with drills designed to make learning about the sport a fun process.
"All the skills they have you practice are pretty challenging and fun. I like the shooting drill which is just a shoot-off between two teams," said camper Kyle McNally.
"They taught us some ball handling and how to warm up to play, shooting and that's pretty much it," King explained.
Malcolm Miller said he remembers the camps he went to growing up and how much they helped him develop his game.
"I went to a couple camps back in my city and when I traveled and played AAU basketball it was hosted by all the professional players and people I looked up to. It just made me want to play more and more so hopefully we can have the same experience for them," Miller said.
The coaches told the campers it takes hard work to be a good player and that they can always be practicing something, even if they are pros.
"We try to touch on everything like shooting, passing, and dribbling. The biggest takeaways I want these kids to go home with is a deeper love and passion for the game of basketball. I want them to go home after the camp and take the skills and drills we learned here and say okay I'm going to go home and try these things by myself. That would be a win for me in my book," said Red Claws player Ralph Sampson III.