NEWBURGH – During the summer interim, Mount Saint Mary College has been a little quieter than in the fall and spring semesters – that is, not counting the sound of 30 basketballs bouncing on the floor of the Kaplan Recreation Center.
Nearly three dozen girls from the local community, ages 7 to 16, recently enjoyed a weeklong basketball camp at the Mount, which focused on developing skills and a love of the game.
The sessions are part of the Mount’s sports camp series, which this summer included tennis, boys’ basketball, and soccer.
The camp was coordinated by Michael Coppolino, head coach for the Mount’s women’s basketball team and the men’s golf team.
In previous years, the college hosted a co-ed basketball camp. This time, the boys and girls were broken into separate sessions to provide more individualized coaching.
The players come from a variety of backgrounds and skill levels, said Coppolino.
“We have the complete spectrum from A-Z,” he remarked, noting that the camp hosts students brand new to the game as well as older, more experienced players with Amateur Athletic Union and summer league backgrounds.
The most rewarding part of the summer sports camps, said Coppolino, is “watching the kids grow and develop not only from week to week, but also from year to year.”
“You can even see improvement just throughout the week,” he added. “Even from Monday to Friday, you’ll see improvement in a player’s skills.”
Of course, the daily 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. camp wasn’t all skills and drills: The players also got to enjoy commerarderie and classic basketball games such as Around the World and Basketball Musical Chairs.
Coppolino has been part of the Mount Knights since 2012 and will begin his fifth season as head coach of the women’s basketball team this fall. He has been with the Knights Golf team since its beginnings in 2013 and will resume his post as head coach this season.