Attending a basketball camp such as the David “Rusty” Ponton camp is a good way for young females to enhance or sharpen their basketball skills as well as learn new ones.
Ponton said, “The campers are exposed to many skills relative to their playing levels. However, the bases of ball handling, passing, shooting, rebounding, and defense are primarily focused on during the camp.”
Aside from basketball, Ponton and his staff shared life lessons with the campers. “We infused life values into our campers on carrying themselves as young ladies,” he said.
Also,they told the campers to respect others and themselves and to play hard and have fun.
Marie Davis, a post on Cleveland High’s team, said, “At this camp I have learned better foot work for my defense and that offense buys tickets, but defense wins the game.”
Davis said that what she learned that will make her a better person is that as long as she keeps a positive attitude and play her game she will be unstoppable. She has attended the camp for four years and will recommend it to others because she says campers received good work outs and learned the game of basketball.
Camper Lauren Gilmore, a 10th grader at Little Rock Central High School, said, “I learned how to be early is to be on time and to be late is to be left.”
On her school’s team Gilmore plays shooting forward and the two guard. She said, “I have learned that whatever I do, do it to the fullest because you never know who is watching.”
Sylvan Hills High School point guard and Little Rock native Rachele Downs said that the skills she learned are boxing out, defense, ball handling, and shooting.
Because Downs thinks that the camp can make one a better person and player, she will recommend it to others.
“You have fun and everyday you play someone may be watching you, and if you play up to your potential there could be a scholarship waiting for you,” She said.
Carroll High’s Micheel Ceasar said that she learned how to pass the ball in the correct way, dribble, and hold defense.
She said that she learned things that she will share with others. “In order to be successful, both on and off the court, you have to believe in yourself and have heart and the correct attitude,” said Ceasar.
Ponton has worked camps for 16 years at GSU and has been head coach of the women’s basketball team for nine of those years.
He said that this year’s camp was a success because of assistance from his assistant coaches (Sharon Perkins and Frederick “Bo” Bivens), the staff, and others who volunteered.