College develops skills of young people in half term Basketball Camp

Image representing College develops skills of young people in half term Basketball Camp

During the February half term Gloucestershire College hosted over 30 young people, aged eight to 16, for a fundamentals and skills Basketball Camp led by Head Coach Danny James and Assistant Coach Joe Grainger.

Camp participants came from the College’s in-house basketball academy, the GC Blazers, which was established 15 years ago to develop youth basketball in the community. Over the course of the three-day camp, players worked on developing a wide range of skills, including dribbling, passing, shooting, footwork and developing game play. Mornings focused on skills and drills, while afternoons focused on team skills, including basketball games against one another.

Coach Danny said: “Moving basketball in Gloucestershire forward is our primary focus; to give young people here the opportunities I had as a young player and to raise the profile of the sport within the county and surrounding areas.

“Gloucestershire College and its facilities provide a great vehicle for this and will be instrumental in the success of the sport in the future. This week's camp has shown how popular the sport is with young people; the players worked their socks off and although tired on day three, they showed how much they had learned in a short space of time.”

Both Danny and Joe had illustrious playing careers starting their journeys with the Gloster Jets, before progressing to play basketball for England in numerous age groups. In a full circle they are now both back where it started for them, coaching the next generation of young players.

Recently Danny returned to Gloucester after developing the Bristol Academy Flyers and South Gloucestershire and Stroud College basketball programmes. The Flyers are now a professional team playing in the country’s top flight British Basketball League and the SGS team in the Elite Academies League.

Gloucestershire College took ownership of the GC Blazers earlier this year and the club will soon be refreshed and renamed, before recruitment gets underway to grow the club in the summer.

Danny said: “The history of the GC Blazers will remain but a bright, new future with a new club will pave the way for some exciting new ventures to grow the game in Gloucester and the surrounding areas.”

Will Merivale, Sports Academy Coordinator, added: “There is a real buzz around college thanks to the developments around basketball and the arrival of our Rugby League Academy starting in September 2016.

“I am proud the College recognises the importance of sport and the role it plays in the community. Personally I've made many friends and learned valuable life-skills, including a desire to succeed, during my time as a rugby player with Cinderford – all qualities we foster in our students.”

Anybody interested in finding out more about basketball opportunities at Gloucestershire College can email Danny directly at danny.james@gloscol.ac.uk

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