GREENVILLE — After two days of scorching temperatures, Greenville High School’s North Gymnasium actually felt comfortable.
On Wednesday, more than 100 kids between first and ninth grade showed up for the 6th Annual Zach Ingles Basketball Camp. The camp began on Monday and will run through today.
“We had a record 106 campers show up this year,” Ingles said. “That is 10 more than we had our inaugural year. They are from everywhere like Lakeview, Greenville, Carson City, Central Montcalm, Belding and Comstock Park.”
Ingles, a Greenville graduate, hopes the increased numbers are due to improvements in the local economy.
“I hope it’s because everyone is doing well and the economy has turned,” he said. “Hopefully, things are starting to change for the people. That’s my positive thought at least.”
Ingles was happy the temperatures fell closer to normal temperatures after two days close to 100 degrees.
“We battled the heat the first two days. It was nice to have a little rain and cooler air,” Ingles said. “We’ve had the fans and air running. We are giving a lot of breaks and plenty of water breaks.”
The camp is split into two sessions. First through fifth graders participate from 8 to 9:30 a.m. Sixth through ninth graders participate from 10 a.m. to noon.
The early camp focuses on teaching the game of basketball.
“We are introducing everything. We have a wide variety of skill levels and work on everything from boxing out to competition,” Ingles said. “We worked on some skill development with station work and repetition.”
The second group features, for the most part, an experienced set of players and campers that have returned year after year.
“It’s fun to watch some of these kids that have been here year after year and see them develop.” Ingles said. “I’ve watched a few of these kids grow up and develop their basketball games. It’s fun to watch.”
Greenville incoming freshman Parker Gough is one of the few players that have been to every camp hosted by Ingles.
“These camps are really fun and he helps me out a lot,” Gough said. “I just like basketball and this camp has helped me progress.”
Gough said Ingles has taught him some new moves over the years.
“I will miss not being able to come to this camp. It’s fun,” Gough said. “Basketball is my favorite sport.”
Ingles, who scored more than 2,000 points in high school, played in the NCAA tournament for Eastern Kentucky and played basketball professionally around the world, enjoys hosting the camp and hopes it continues to grow.
“I take pride that the numbers have gone up and the campers get here early,” Ingles said. “It means the camp is doing something correct. As long as there is a need for this we will keep going. I always said I wanted to do this at least 10 years.”