For two weeks every year, kids leave school to be with family during the holidays. The cold weather reminds them that basketball season is in full swing.
Every year, the College of Idaho men’s basketball program hosts its winter youth basketball camp. Over two days, more than 100 boys and girls get to pass, dribble and shoot with one of the best NAIA basketball teams in the country.
To be the best in the country, you must put in hours of work. The Yotes basketball team does this all year with the goal of improving as a team. But for two days, their focus shifts from their college team to their community.
Every coach and player joins the Yotes Winter Camp. If your name is on the College of Idaho roster, you are there working with the kids. It is their way of saying thank you to the community that supports them at every game. Some of the most important members of that community are the kids participating in the camp.
The camp coaches ask the players to work hard and have fun. For some of these players, it is another chance to compete during a slow time of the year. For others, it may be the first time that they have had any basketball coaching. For them all, it is a chance to love the game of basketball and see why the Yotes are consistently ranked as a top team each year.
How the camp separates itself
At most college camps, it is rare to see the entire roster and coaching staff take part. Today's norm is the head coach shows up for five minutes at the beginning and end. Between, he is working on non-camp related tasks.
Head Coach Colby Blaine takes a different approach. While assistant coaches do a lot of the work, Coach Blaine takes a lead role in organizing and energizing the campers. As a parent, you appreciate his investment in your child’s development.
In addition, every college player on the Yotes' roster is there working with the kids. Whether they play 40 minutes a game or two, the entire roster works with the kids.
They lead the drills and the court operations.
They pump the kids up and pat them on the back.
And they are always lending advice to the youngsters to help them get better.
The constant theme of the camp is “Team Together”. It stems from the program's investment in each other. You will see #TeamTogether in a lot of places. It is a commitment to each other both on and off the court.
This is a group of players and coaches that have bought into the idea that they can achieve more as a group than as individuals. The coaches speak of it at camp often. It is a constant reminder of how they do things at the College of Idaho.
The College of Idaho Winter Camp is an excellent model of what a youth basketball camp should be. We are proud to work with the College of Idaho in everything they do!
Every shirt tells a story. Every team has its community.
Check out all our features by clicking here.