POULSBO — It may be the heat of summer, but North Kitsap High School basketball head coach Tony Chisholm is making sure his favorite winter sport is fresh in the minds of aspiring hoopsters throughout the North End.
Chisholm and his staff are currently directing the Triple Threat boys basketball camp for players between the ages of 8-15 this week at the NKHS gymnasium. The last day of camp is Friday.
“This camp focuses on passing, dribbling and shooting,” Chisholm said. “When it comes down to it, that’s what this game is all about.”
Despite having only 12 players in attendance, Chisholm was excited about the prospect of working with young players who are in the beginning stages of their development during the first day of camp Monday afternoon. The small numbers will allow for more one-on-one instructional time between the coaching staff and players.
“As coaches we will be able to spend more time on each particular drill,” he said. “We don’t go as fast we would with high school players. It’s critical for these young guys to understand everything they’re being taught. At this age they’re like sponges.”
Chisholm said the camp will have its fair share of controlled scrimmages.
“With the small amount of players here, we will be able to break the game down to a lot of 3-on-3 and 2-on-2 games,” he said. “We will be able to focus on screen and roll and make sure each player understands what it means and gets it down.”
Chisholm said while the pick and roll is one of the simplest plays in basketball, it’s also one of the most important for teams to execute.
“It’s a play I never get enough of,” he said. “(Karl) Malone and (John) Stockton executed successfully into their 30s while they were in the NBA. With the small numbers at camp, it gives us a perfect ideal environment to work on those kinds of things.”
Giving the younger players a taste of what’s to come at the high school level is something Chisholm feels is important.
“It’s a chance to introduce them to the North Kitsap High School basketball program at a young age,” he said. “These players will know what to expect when they reach high school. They will know what type of program we’re running here.”
Chisholm, who’s been a coach at almost every level since arriving in North Kitsap in 1991, is fully immersed in the community.
“I have to get the younger kids involved. It’s really important they enjoy the sport at a young age,” he said. “That’s how you build a program from the ground up.”
The No. 1 goal of Chisholm’s is to ensure players he comes in contact with improves their basketball skills.
“As coaches, we’re part of a coaching fraternity. We teach kids as much as we can,” he said. “We’re giving kids tools for their toolbox. Each coach teaches them different skills to give them tools for that box as they progress as players. That’s what it’s all about.”
Fifteen-year-old Alex Breitmayer couldn’t wait for Triple Threat basketball camp to hit the court.
“I have been looking forward to this camp for the past week,” he said. “I just love basketball and love to have fun.”
Breitmayer said Chisholm is the kind of coach who can take a players to the next level.
“Coach Chisholm always gives his players comments on how to improve their game,” he said. “He’s helped me become a better basketball player.”