Junior Aves Clinic benefits future of SHS basketball program

Before any basketball player can step out on the court to compete at the high school level, countless skills and fundamentals must be mastered. However, these skills cannot be perfected overnight.

Both the Varsity athletes and coaches recognize the importance of kids starting a sport at a young age, and are taking steps to cultivate the younger students for the future of SHS basketball.

Demonstrating the correct triple-threat position, Taylor Miller, 10 and Erin Kroell, 11, teach a group of 2nd graders how to complete a one-foot pivot. Coaches David Moss and Derek Christerson also lead other drills throughout the one hour session. The first session’s focus was  ball-handling, and the coaches and players worked on dribbling skills before applying them in game situations. Photo Courtesy of Lauren Saxon.
Demonstrating the correct triple-threat position, Taylor Miller, 10 and Erin Kroell, 11, teach a group of 2nd graders how to complete a one-foot pivot. Coaches David Moss and Derek Christerson also lead other drills throughout the one hour session. The first session’s focus was
ball-handling, and the coaches and players worked on dribbling skills before applying them in game situations. Photo Courtesy of Lauren Saxon.

For the next three weeks, around 20 second and third grade elementary students are participating in the Junior Aves Clinic. The clinic, open to both boys and girls, consists of six different coaching sessions on Tues. and Thurs. – each one hour in length.

With the help of four returning girls Varsity players, coaches Derek Christerson and David Moss will be putting the younger kids through basic drills to introduce them to the sport of basketball.

“I thought it was a really good experience not only for the kids, but for us high school players as well,” said Taylor Miller, returning Varsity guard, 10.

The first session occurred on Tuesday, May 6, in which the group focused primarily on ball-handling skills and dribbling.

“Helping with the clinic taught us leadership, and how to coach kids in a specific way to make sure they learn,” said Miller.

After the four players lead the little kids in dynamic stretching, the second and third graders then completed drills such as dribble-knockout, and scrimmaged for 20 minutes at the end of the session.

Establishing a connection between the high school basketball athletes and the younger players is one of Moss and Christerson’s biggest goals.

In addition to the Junior Aves Clinic, the Varsity coaches and players will be putting on a Little Aves Camp during the summer for elementary and middle school kids.

“The Little Aves Camp lasts four days, and is for players in grades K-8,” said Miller.

Although the team members are currently dedicating their offseason time to develop these younger players, the girls Varsity team has also created a mentoring system with the SJHS girls during winter season.

Each Varsity team member was assigned one or two ‘little sisters’ on the seventh and eighth grade team, and would then attend some of the junior high schools games, make their little sisters good luck cards, and even bring some candy for them after the game.

The mentoring system, Little Aves Camp, and Junior Aves Clinic are all helping to build the SHS basketball program for years to come.

If you are a parent interested in signing your child up for the Little Aves Clinic, or the remaining sessions of the Junior Aves Clinic, feel free to contact either Derek Christerson (christersond@sycamoreschools.org)or David Moss(mossd@sycamoreschools.org) for more information.