Corbanís women-athletes invest in Oregonís emergent players
August 13, 2009
Last month, 49 girls in elementary, middle and high schools honed basketball skills on the Jeffers Sports Center court at Corban College & Graduate School. The two girls’ basketball camps, hosted by Corban’s Women’s Basketball Team, were an example of recurrent efforts to improve skills of younger players while giving them a vision for basketball post-high school. Warrior women have easily influenced more than 3,000 girls in the last three years.
Under the direction of Head Coach Terry Williams and Assistant Coaches Rosey Ball and Ron Hittner, 21 student-athletes effectively ran drills, stations work, and modified and full-sided games for the July camps. The benefactors of that many college helpers were 27 grade-school players and then 22 middle- and high-school players. In receiving such personal attention, they developed stronger shooting, ball handling, defense, and rebounding skills.
“They’re busy camps,” said Williams, “We accomplish as much in the three-and-a-half hours each day as most camps do in a full day.”
In spite of their intensity, however, the four-day camps were, actually, “all fun and games.” Williams said, “We’re constantly giving away all kinds of prizes—the kids love it.”
Melissa Jones (Klamath Falls, Ore.), a Corban freshman in the fall, was one who volunteered. She noted, “I really appreciated how Terry interacted with the girls. He knew most of their names, and he made us all laugh. I liked that it was a happy atmosphere.”
Besides summer camp, the team provides other learning experiences for high school players. In the 2007-08 season, the women hosted a clinic in LaPine, Ore., as well as two winter clinics at Corban. Similar clinics are being considered for the upcoming season, said Williams.
Last June, Williams piloted a fundraising tournament which brought 70 girls from seven high schools as far away as Portland, Medford, and Klamath Falls. Additionally, Corban has helped host the All-Star Series for the Oregon High School Girls Basketball Coaches Association each summer for more than a decade. Promoting the game for girls and showing Corban’s program and campus to upcoming college players is important to Williams and the team.
Sarah Longwell (Union, Ore.) is one of four 2008-09 All-Star players who are incoming Corban freshman this fall. While she had already chosen Corban when she played in the games last summer, “playing [on Corban’s campus] gave me an idea of what college ball was going to be like. It gave me confidence that I’d made the right decision.”
For the third consecutive year the Women’s Basketball program is hosting a fall coaches’ clinic. In past years, this has drawn 70 coaches representing 40-45 programs from across Oregon and Southwest Washington; an even higher turnout is expected this fall. A feature of the clinic is that women Warriors demonstrate the techniques for each clinician. An impressive list of clinicians for fall 2009 includes Judy Spoelstra, University of Washington; Kelly Graves, Gonzaga University; Jim Soellars, University of Portland; Anji Weisenfluh, Eastern Oregon University; Robin Stewart, Linfield College; Sheri Murrill, Portland State University; and Corban’s Assistant Coach, Ron Hittner.
Dave Bale, Dean of Athletics, said of Corban’s involvement with girls’ basketball: “The kids get something, the coaches do what they do well, and Corban raises money for the program. It’s a win, win, win.”
As a self-proclaimed “gym rat,” Williams explained his passion, “I get the greatest thrill being out on the court teaching the game to young people.”
Corban offers six other sports for women: soccer, volleyball, cross country, softball, golf, and track. Several of these have also offered clinics for girls. For more information on Warrior athletics, visit www.gowarriorsgo.com or call 503-375-7005.
By Jenny Hirschfelder, Staff Writer, Office of Marketing & Communications
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