With in-person instruction not possible because of COVID-19, the Skagit Valley College men's basketball coaches are trying something different for their upcoming basketball camp.
Head coach Carl Howell and assistants G.E. Coleman and Mark McLaughlin will offer a "virtual" basketball camp over Zoom for players ages 5 and up. The two-day camp will be held from noon to 1:15 p.m. July 21-22. Cost is $70.
"The kids are anxious to do something. Everyone's going stir-crazy," Howell said.
The first day of the camp will emphasize ball handling and passing; the second day will be primarily devoted to shooting.
Howell said the program had plans for a lengthier series of in-person camps before the pandemic hit. He hopes the virtual camp later this month will still be able to teach young players skills and offer some interaction with coaches, including a question-and-answer period.
"This is a new thing for all of us," he said. "We're just trying to get creative and get kids an opportunity. In the past, camps at Skagit have been well attended. We had two weeks planned, maybe a third."
He said more virtual camps may be held later. He said several people have stepped in to make the virtual camp possible, including new athletic director Mitch Freeman, the college's IT department and CouriAnne Williams, the college's Continuing and Community Education director.
Howell is heading into his second season as Cardinals' head coach after a first year that saw the program rise to as high as No. 1 in the coaches' poll before the Northwest Athletic Conference tournament was called off because of COVID-19. In the offseason the program added assistants Coleman, former head coach at the University of Hawaii-Hilo; and McLaughlin, a two-time All-American college player who starred at Central Washington University.