Cleburne Times-Review, Cleburne, TX

Sports

June 26, 2014

Cleburne basketball camp closes with Mavericks mascots putting on a show

CLEBURNE — The 2014 Cleburne Yellow Jacket summer basketball camp ended on Thursday in style — with Dallas Mavericks mascots Mavs Man and Champ making special appearances.

Mavs Man and Champ put on several performances and played a number of different games with the campers. Mavs Man and Champ, whose appearance was sponsored by Pinnacle Bank, also gave away prizes and held an autograph session to close out the camp.

Despite Cleburne High School not having a head boys basketball coach, the camp was still a big success, Assistant Coach Greg Funderburk said.

“Camp’s gone great,” he said. “We were really impressed with the numbers we had this year. Being that we don’t have a head coach, we really didn’t know what the turnout would be. The best thing we can do as assistant coaches is keep carrying on the camp and keep carrying on the work that’s there for us to do.

“We just can’t stop working because there’s no head coach, we’ve got to continue on because the basketball program will still be here. The best we can do for the program and even the next head coach is step up, get this camp going and get kids interested in it because that’s only going to help the new head coach and program overall and carry on our tradition.”

Funderburk said the camp featured numerous fundamental drills, but it was also a camp where fun was the emphasis.

“We did some basic fundamentals — we didn’t get too complicated,” he said. “We didn’t try to run any offense. We wanted to make sure these kids have a good foundation. The first day was all offense — we worked on dribbling and shooting and passing the ball. The next day we worked on some basic defensive drills. The third day we worked on a lot of team stuff, moving down court, communicating and teamwork. [Thursday] was more about games.

“This week, we’re really played a lot of games. We wanted the kids to have fun and incorporate what they’re doing in drills into the game.”

Prior to Mavs Man and Champ’s appearance on Thursday, the camp award winners were presented with either a signed basketball or signed jerseys from Baylor Men’s Head Basketball Coach Scott Drew.

For the 13-14 age group, Garrett Wilson won the hot shot competition and in the 11-12 age group, Cason Gregory won the hot shot competition. And in the 8-10 age group, Jake Rhone received the best overall camper award.

The highlight of the camp came on the final day when Mavs Man and Champ put on their show.

“Bringing in Mavs Man and Champ was excellent for us,” Funderburk said. “It got the kids excited about basketball. We want kids in Cleburne to be excited about basketball again. There’s a lot of kids involved in other sports, and that’s wonderful, but we don’t want them to be discouraged about basketball.

“Bringing in Mavs Man and Champ was a great thing — the kids recognize them ... they see them on TV. It really helped bring kids to our camp and motivate them to come and get excited about basketball in our community. That’s what we wanted Mavs Man and Champ to help us do — bring that excitement back to our program.”

Mavs Man and Champ had campers participate in games such as knockout and a form of musical chairs, among other games and contests. But the highlight of the performance came when Mavs Man put on his trademark dunk show, where he launched himself high up in the air off a trampoline to dunk the ball. Two of Mavs Man’s dunks came with him soaring high above Champ for the throw down, and on the final dunk of the show, Mavs Man jumped over several camp participants and finished the dunk off with a somersault in midair.

Along with Funderburk, the camp was instructed by fellow assistant coach Andy Pate along with several junior high coaches and former players such as Ryan Kirk and Ethan Anderson.

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