SAND HILLS, Fla. (WMBB) – Dozens of local youth athletes participated in the third annual Bozeman basketball camp this week.
Bozeman head boys basketball coach, Matt Granville said the camp provides a rare opportunity for kids on the north side of Bay County to learn the sport close to home.
“There’s not a lot of this up here,” Granville said. “You know, growing up they don’t really have leagues or anything. So we want to make sure kids are getting these opportunities all the way from as young as second grade up. And I think that’s really translating our success on the court as well as just getting more kids involved every year.”
The two-day, three-hour clinic is led by both the Bozeman boys and girls basketball players. Granville said it is great to see both teams involved.
“The big thing about Bozeman is that we’re a family and we want to be making sure we’re providing those things,” Granville said. “So that’s a big thing these last three years, including both our boys and girls programs. Everything we do, we try to keep under one umbrella and so really providing that for both our high schoolers, middle schoolers, as well as our elementary school kids to make sure everybody’s getting an opportunity to learn and grow.”
The camp started with just a handful of campers three years ago and now they have hit a record attendance with nearly four dozen participants.
“The fun thing now, especially in the third year, you have some kids that used to be in the camp, now leading the camp,” Granville said. “So it’s been a great opportunity to see that growth, and as I said, being a K-12 school, we have kids who are going to be here a long time, those 12 years. So getting to see these kids not just at the camp, but coming to our games and really starting to be part of the program even earlier than they would normally.”
As a K-12 school, Bozeman has some young athletes who spend their entire grade school education wearing navy and red.
Granville said the overarching goal of the camp is to turn young Bozeman basketball fans into Bozeman basketball players, while also connecting with the community.
“Obviously, you’re only really getting so much out of these couple of days here,” Granville said. “But hopefully, it’s something that sparks a love for the game of basketball and hopefully they start doing these drills on their own, in their own time as they develop into players, then hopefully one day we’ll see them playing for us.”