BYU summer sports camps offer opportunity for young athletes

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By Joshua White

On a summer morning at BYU, an observer walking in and around the George Albert Smith Fieldhouse might witness about 500 rowdy boys of varying ages crowded onto the gym bleachers, young girls receiving gymnastic instruction in another room, or aspiring football players trying to impress the BYU coaches.

While these sights might seem completely unrelated, these kids are BYU Summer Sports Camps participants, developing athletic skills while basking in the peaceful atmosphere of BYU. With 21 different sports offered, the camps provide a great opportunity for the athletes to have an enjoyable time doing something they love with their peers and getting familiar with the BYU sports organization.

Eleven-year-old Brad Jones, from California, said, “You get to experience the campus. I like the coaches here … and the volunteers that help us do this camp. The basketball camp helps me test my skills.”

On Wednesday morning, the basketball players met with Head Basketball Coach Dave Rose in the gym and, through a question-and-answer session, received advice on everything from the work rate of legendary players to coaching.

Rose said, “It doesn’t matter what your coach wants to run … The most important thing is for the coach to get all the guys to believe that what they are doing is going to win a national championship.”

Toward the end of the meeting, an announcement was made that Tyler Haws, a BYU basketball star, had made the latest preliminary cut for the USA basketball team. The boys were elated to be part of such an important day for the basketball program.

Josh Mordue, a 13-year-old basketball camp attendee from Farmington, Utah, said, “I have a better understanding of what I’ll be doing when I’m older.”

Counselors take care of the kids by helping them enjoy the experience.

Derek Hansen, a BYU sophomore from Madera, Calif., is one such counselor. He said, “We watch over kids when they are not in practice, make sure they’re having fun. We show them what makes BYU different. They come here not lonely to develop athletic skills but also to bring them closer to their Savior Jesus Christ.”

Whatever their motives for attending, every member of the sports camps is treated to a unique experience on many levels, and many, including Mordue, plan on coming back.

Joshua White is a high school student participating in the BYU Summer Scholars program sponsored by the Department of Communication. Joshua is from Spokane, Wash.

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