The Basketball School of Sandpoint will hold a three-day Thanksgiving basketball camp Monday, Nov. 25 through Wednesday, Nov. 27 at Kootenai Elementary.
This is the first time BSS will be putting on a basketball camp during the week of Thanksgiving.
Kids ages 7-15 are welcome and will be split into two age groups. Kids ages 7-10 will participate in the camp 8-11 a.m. and kids ages 11-15 will take part in the camp from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
The cost is $55 per player, $105 for two siblings, $155 for three siblings and $205 for four siblings.
BSS was founded two years ago by Darren Laiche and his son, Austin. Since, BSS has hosted several basketball camps each year while also holding weekly skill development sessions for kids in the area.
Darren and his family moved to Sandpoint seven years ago and Darren has been a basketball coach and player at the high school and collegiate level.
“I play a lot of pickup ball,” he said. “I’m an old guy, I’m 48 years old but if there’s a pickup game in Sandpoint, I’m not far away.”
After playing pickup ball with kids and young adults in the area, Darren noticed a need to teach kids the fundamentals of the game.
So in November of 2017, Darren and his son launched BSS.
“We’re not a team, we’re just developing individual skills,” he said. “Its been a lot of fun. I never thought it would last for two years or longer but people keep coming and word is spreading.”
The weekly skill development sessions BSS puts on are held every Tuesday night at the Lake Pend Oreille Alternative High School. More info about the cost of the sessions can be found at basketballschoolofsandpoint.com.
Darren said the skill sessions allow kids to drop in whenever they fell like and really hone in on a specific aspect of their game like ball handling or their shooting form.
“I would say the basis of what we do isn’t really the camps,” he said. “The basis of what we do is the weekly development sessions where we’re helping kids get better all year long and the camps is kind of the icing on the cake.”
At the Thanksgiving camp, kids will be separated into groups based on ability and learn the fundamentals including passing, shooting, rebounding and defense. Tournaments, dribbling races, shooting competitions and other creative games will also happen during the camp.
Darren said he enjoys working with kids and feels he has a good connection with them.
“I really watching kids get better,” he said. “At this young age, it doesn’t take a lot for them to improve.
“A lot of times driving home, Austin and I are cracking up laughing at things kids said, things kids did. Its a kick. Kids are fun to be around.”
Darren said he tries to instill the belief that you can accomplish anything you want in the kids he teaches. For Darren, holding these camps and development sessions is about more than just turning kids into great basketball players.
“Our message that we often talk to them about at the end of a session is to be great at something,” he said. “If its basketball, that’s phenomenal. The big thing we want them to learn is that hard work will give you the results you’re looking for.”
You can register for the camp online at basketballschoolofsandpoint.com. In-person registration is also available before the camp begins Monday, Nov. 25 at Kootenai Elementary.