Imagine going to basketball tryouts in middle school, which is a tough time in any kids life, with a strong desire to play on the basketball team but no formal training. With the hopes of making the team to give you something to do besides being at home, to belong to a team, and to achieve something. Then pause as you watch all the other kids at tryouts show up with the latest LeBron shoes and fresh new basketball outfits while you are wearing the same shoes you always wear to run around and your gym uniform. Now you start warming up, shooting some hoops, dribbling around. Then pause again, as the kid with the new LeBron’s starts warming up and you notice his skill level is practically NBA quality, then you hear him talk about his personal trainer who worked with him all summer to get ready for the season. You think about your preparation, shooting and dribbling at the neighborhood hoop every day, you hope it was enough. Imagine the thoughts racing through your mind. Wait, the whistle blows and it’s time to show your skills. Fast forward to the end of tryouts, all the kids are anxiously waiting to hear their name, and your stomach is in knots, nervous of not making the team and being embarrassed as all your friends will ask you the outcome of tryouts tomorrow at school. Your name isn’t called and you leave the gym dejected and frustrated, to return home to hope and to practice in hopes of a better outcome next year.
This is the reality for of kids in District 200, while many families have the money to put their kids through summer camps and personal training sessions, many do not have the means to develop their skills. One such group of kids are the kids at Marian Park. The DuPage County Area Project(DuCAP) has stepped in to try and fill that gap. June 24th to the 28th DuCAP brought In The Paint Basketball with Mike Robinson, a former NBA player, to put on a week-long basketball camp for the kids. There were two coaches that pushed the kids to test their limits and go beyond their expectations. The camp taught the fundamentals of basketball, along with scrimmages, drills, and lots of one on one attention. The coaches pushed the idea that basketball is like life, if you work hard in basketball it will carry over to life. They talked to the kids everyday about discipline, respect, and a good work ethic. By the end of the week those kids were extremely tired but most of all they were challenged mentally and physically to push themselves and work for what they want. With the skills learned from this basketball camp and some practice we hope when the kids try out next year they will make the team.
If you want to be involved with the work that DuCAP does by volunteering or donating or simply want more information please call Bob at (630) 671-8000.