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Four Lady Cougars camp at UNC

By Carlie Clary

Special to the SWT

(Editors note:  In an effort to help expose students to journalism and the newspaper industry, The Southwest Times accepts stories submitted by current students for consideration.  This week, we are pleased to present a report from rising PCHS senior Carlie Clary, one of four Lady Cougar basketball players who just spent an extended period of time at the University of North Carolina womens basketball camp.  If you have a story you would like to have considered for publication, please email it to sports@southwesttimes.com)
     As many around the county know, the Lady Cougar Basketball program has been hard at work this offseason in preparation to be a better, faster, and stronger team to compete with its opponents this upcoming season.

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     After a great showing at Sylvia Hatchell’s UNC Team Camp, Coach Jason Grubb gave the ladies the week off for all of their hard work. Four Lady Cougars, however, used this off time to better their individual skills. They remained at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for several additional camps. These ladies included rising Senior Carlie Clary, rising Junior Hannah Hancock, and rising Sophomores Helen Counts and Laney Cox.
     Individual Camp included many learning experiences, as well as good times. This four-day camp emphasized fundamentals, individual offensive and defensive skills, and shooting technique.
     Many basketball games were played throughout the camp with an assigned team, and it was expected for the players to use the skills they had learned earlier in the day during an actual game. Awards were given throughout, but the staff was never hesitant to pull campers aside to explain how to improve their game.
     Helen Counts felt the time was well spent.  “I liked how they gave us constructive criticism,” said Counts.  “Nothing they said was meant to put us down, but for us to improve, and those who put that criticism into work, got better.”
     All four of the ladies that attended said it made them better in the areas they were weakest and that the camp was a really fun learning experience.
Position camp focused on improving the campers depending upon the position they play. Clary (who attended last year as a guard), Counts and Cox all went to improve their post game. Hancock (who attended last year as a post), used this camp to better her guard skills.
     “Position camp wasn’t only fun because of the physicality of play as a post, but because of the vast amount of learning that took place at the same time,” said Clary.  “The entire camp staff used their immense knowledge of the game and applied it to every drill.”
     Cox agreed and said, “Post camp helped me to learn a lot of new post moves.” Hannah Hancock concurred that learning was a huge part of position camp. “I learned a tremendous amount of new skills and technique,” she said.
     Clary and Counts continued their time at UNC with shooting camp, while Cox and Hancock made their way back home. Shooting Camp worked with players on improving all aspects of their shot, including footwork, fundamentals, and even shot selection. They used the newest technology available with a machine called Noah, which recognizes the distance and arch of each shot. It gives immediate verbal feedback and helps shooters assess the area they are weakest, as well as compare themselves to other shooters. Both Clary and Counts agreed that shooting camp was a great experience all around.
     UNC Chapel Hill holds many great camps each year.  In my own opinion, no matter how good you are, you can always get better and Chapel Hill is a great place to do so. It has helped improve my game the last two years I have attended. Any basketball player who wants to get better should consider attending these camps. It is a great learning experience, as well as a lot of fun.
     Each of the four girls wanted to thank their parents for giving them this amazing opportunity!
     The Lady Cougar Basketball team will continue their offseason commitment on July 15th and 16th when the varsity team competes at Mount Airy High School. They will depart early each morning at 7 a.m. and play three games each day.

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