By Matt Ensor
Assistant Director of Communications
Basketball has become a summertime sport whether it’s the NBA Playoffs, the FIBA World Championships or the Summer Olympics. Basketball camp is no different as hundreds of local youngsters participated in Craig Neal Basketball Camps last week. Campers were able to hoop it up outdoors, inside the Rudy Davalos Basketball Center and on The Pit floor throughout the week.
Participants honed their skills with individual drill work, full court games and enjoyed following in the footsteps of their Lobo basketball players. Head coach Craig Neal and his staff taught the importance of other parts of the game; sportsmanship, hard work and having fun. Coach Neal also spoke to parents about the crucial role adults have in their young players’ basketball lives as a coach and a father.
“I can’t thank the parents of our campers enough for giving their kids the opportunity to come to camp,” said head coach Craig Neal. “It speaks to the great support our program has in our community. As a former player, a coach and a father, I know the importance camp can play in basketball development and health education. It’s also about having fun, which is something we stress in our own program.”
Former Lobos, including J.R. Giddens, Dairese Gary and Jamal Smith, joined some current Lobos as camp staff helping run the various sessions and games. Last week’s camps built up to an autograph session with the Lobos that filled the team practice facility with serious excitement.
If the goal of basketball camp is to work hard and have fun while playing basketball then the hundreds of smiles and high fives that filled New Mexico’s facilities confirm that goal was achieved.