Members of local nonprofit organization, The W of Kauai, recently returned home from a basketball camp in Washington.
The local keiki, aged 13-18, took part in an NBC (Northwest Basketball Camps) camp at Whitworth University in Whitworth, Wash. A part of the group also plays for Burton’s 13-and-under girls team with local youth club Westside Basketball Club.
“From the feedback I got from them, and saw them during the week, they loved it,” said Josh Burton, The W of Kauai President, on Tuesday.
“One of the kids that went (has) never been to the Mainland before. That was a good experience for him. One of them never went without their parents. In a sense, I kind of wanted that so there was a growing up thing — a maturing thing — for the kids.
“Other than that, the camp was good. Like most camps, they didn’t want it to end,” he added. “They enjoyed the coaches that (were) there. One of my highlights was they met a lot of new kids. Two of the kids that went from Kauai, they’re a little bit on the shy side. It was good to see them, by day 2 or day 3, talking story with other kids and sitting at their breakfast table or lunch table.”
The W of Kauai also hosts NBC basketball and volleyball camps annually on Kauai. Burton said about 160 players participated at Whitworth, whereas he hosted 80 during his last camp on-island.
“The one we went to over there was an overnight camp. So, they stay at the college dorms,” he said. “I think wake-up call is at 6:30, breakfast is at 7, and then they just have camp all day. I think their last camp-related event is at 9:30 at night. So, they all come back to the dorms, they all shower and it’s pretty much lights out by 10 or 10:30. That’s one difference. We just have a day camp here, so it’s just a few hours during the day and then they go home.”
Burton added it was beneficial for the group to work with new players.
“In Hawaii, we’re small in stature. You could see kids their age was already taller than them. Once they split everyone into their age and skills specifically, you could tell the difference as far as skill and competition-level with kids their age,” he said. “Some of them were a little bit better, but then also we had kids in our group that were just as good or better. So by them seeing this, it made them realize that, ‘Oh, we got to work harder.’ I think by midweek, they got better in some areas, and hopefully they’re going to take that with them when they play this coming season.”
Prior to the five-day camp in Whitworth, the group went on a tour of Gonzaga University in Spokane.
“It was a good experience, and we’re thankful for the sponsors that made it possible for the kids to do this,” Burton said.