Posted 6/28/16 (Tue)
By Jody Michael
A new summer basketball camp is under way three days a week at Divide County High School for youth athletes focused on improving their skills, strength and conditioning.
The eight-week “Maroons Academy” is spearheaded and coached by Marlo Stubbs and drew more than 50 students ranging from kindergarteners to 12th-graders.
Stubbs is an assistant coach for the high school girls’ basketball program that had some of its best years when she was a player in the 1990s, under longtime coach Barry Haggin.
“Barry really developed a good program for Divide County,” Stubbs said. “I want to bring that same kind of program back.”
Stubbs said training outside of the regular basketball season gives players an opportunity for improvement in different ways than is possible during in-season practices.
“In practices, you’re spending a lot of time on team defense, offensive plays and just preparing for the next game,” Stubbs said. “The summer is a good time to work on individual skills.”
The larger-group sessions, split into three age levels, meet two mornings per week for one hour at a time.
A separate camp with smaller-group sessions for high school players, which Stubbs said filled up quickly, is held one night per week and offers more personalized coaching.
“It’s focused on skills but also overall fitness things,” Stubbs said. “We’re doing a lot of core workouts, sprinting, jogging, plyometrics -- a lot of strength and conditioning.”
Stubbs had already been part of a growth in basketball instruction in Crosby, assisting with the Mini-Maroons basketball camp for elementary schoolers that takes place each winter and has seen substantially more turnout.
The Divide County Quarterback Club began sponsoring the Mini-Maroons program three years ago so that kids can go through the program at no cost. That has helped attendance increase.
“Every year since, we’ve had 100 kids involved,” Stubbs said. “It’s been going great.”
Stubbs envisions a variety of benefits from providing additional basketball instruction in the summer months. For one thing, she said, it can help stop kids from getting too sedentary during their break from school.
“Kids have their TV and iPads, and it’s good for them to get some exercise,” she said.
In addition, more practice can only help the school’s chances of returning to the basketball glory she experienced herself.
“We’ve had some losing seasons lately,” Stubbs said. “I just want Divide County to be one of the best in the region.”