Vincentian Lady Royals Basketball Camp enjoys good turnout
During the past couple of years, perhaps no school has earned more basketball championships between the boys and girls than Vincentian. Since 2010, the Royals and Lady Royals combined for five WPIAL crowns.
With the success has come notoriety, and each team has put together a successful basketball camp. With the boys hosting a camp the previous week, the girls would not be outdone when it came to giving back to the community through its annual camp.
“I remember coming to this camp (when I was younger), and I remember how much I gained from it and how much I looked up to the girls in high school,” said Ally Bartoszewicz, a member of the past two WPIAL title teams. “The (varsity) girls made me want to try harder to improve my game.”
Bartoszewicz, a senior at Vincentian and a counselor at the camp, said it is a rewarding experience to see the light bulb go off in a camper's eyes when she learns a new skill and how to do it correctly.
“There is nothing more rewarding than that,” she said.
Bartoszewicz was not the only player to come back for the summer. Senior guard Kayla Key also returned to offer instruction to the campers.
“It is a lot of fun to meet all the kids, and it keeps us on our ‘A' game because we have to demonstrate the right way to do things,” Key said. “It is a lot of fun, and when I was asked to come out, I was glad to do it.”
The camp, run by coach Ron Moncrief, has a lot of repeat campers.
“What separates us is that we allow the players to do a lot of the teaching,” Moncrief said. “The younger players come to the games and know the players. Our success plays a big part. When the kids get to spend quality time with the players they can teach life lessons using sports.”
Lizzy Snell said she came back to keep improving her shooting skills.
“I really like how the (varsity) team interacts with the kids,” Snell said. “It is really cool and special to learn from them, because they are so good at basketball.”
Katie Bartlett said she likes the scrimmages and the playoff and championship format the camp has where she can practice what she has learned.
“I can dribble better behind my back and through my kegs,” Katie said. “The counselors are really helpful and answer my questions.”
Key said that the important thing is to stay positive with the campers and stress some small yet critical points.
“Always stay positive and believe in yourself,” she tells them. “You may not always be the best on your team, but you have to believe in yourself. You don't just wake up the best player — you have to practice.”
Moncrief said he is so appreciative of his players, the campers and all the parents who send their daughters and help out with the camp.
“It's about hard work paying off and everyone helping out is what makes the camp grow and what makes it good,” Moncrief said.
Jerry Clark is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-779-6979 or firstname.lastname@example.org.