Opportunities abound at new CUH team camp

Published 2:29 pm Tuesday, June 18, 2024

HARRODSBURG – There were opportunities for everyone at the area’s newest basketball team camp.

The camp hosted by Campbellsville University Harrodsburg last week had something to offer coaches, players and their host.

Coaches got a chance to test their teams without traveling too far from home, players got to prepare for the coming high school season while getting a look at a collegiate facility and CU Harrodsburg coach Austin Sparrow got to see them all.

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Sparrow set up the camp to help nearby high school coaches and players, but also to help his program.

“It’s a great opportunity for the local athletes to see our campus, see our gymnasium. It’s also a great opportunity for myself and our coaching staff to see local athletes and evaluate them,” Sparrow said.

Twelve boys teams attended the three-day camp that concluded Friday, and all but one of them came from within an hour of the CUH campus.

The list included local schools Boyle County, Danville, Garrard County, Lincoln County and Mercer County, as well as other schools from the 5th, 8th, 11th and 12th Regions.

“The support that the local teams have given us for our team camp has been huge, and all the coaches committing to coming over here and playing,” Sparrow said.

Sparrow, who is in his fifth season as the CUH head coach, said he hopes to double the number of teams in the camp next year.

Garrard coach Kasey McRay said location is the biggest reason why he jumped at the chance to bring his team to the camp.

“Proximity,” McRay said. “Not having to go here and there to play in a good facility, a college-level facility. It was nice when I heard about it. Austin and I go back, both being Mercer County alums, but he was generous to let us play in it.”

Danville coach Tryston Ford, who is in his first full summer as a head coach, said the local camp made things easier for him as he learns the ins and outs of summer basketball.

“I’m still learning about scheduling as far as the summer goes,” Ford said. “ Last summer I didn’t have the full summer, and we didn’t play summer games.”

Sparrow made the camp more attractive by doing his best to keep teams from playing opponents they frequently see during the season. For example, three of Garrard’s 45th District opponents were at the camp, but the Golden Lions didn’t play any of them.

“He’s done a good job of making the schedule to where we’re not playing other region teams or 45th District teams,” McRay said. “It’s a lot easier when you don’t have to travel to, say, Taylor County but you can still play Taylor County 30 minutes from home.”

Sparrow said it was important to him to pair schools with teams they don’t normally play, and to make the camp affordable as well.

CUH players are working alongside their coaches at the team camp, as well as at a July youth skills camp and an August prospect camp, and Sparrow said the players will benefit from the proceeds from all three camps.

“One hundred percent of the proceeds go back to our players, so they’re getting every bit of the money in some form or fashion,” he said.

It’s also a recruiting tool, because Sparrow can evaluate the players in his own gym.

“At the end of the (week), we’re going to have sent out three official offers to players that attended our camp,” he said.