Community League basketball introduces bi-weekly skills camp
By Keith Sparks
Liberty Hill’s Swoosh select basketball program has been around for years, but the organization’s first-year president, Mathew Richardson, is on a mission to increase awareness of Swoosh’s non-profit sponsor and youth community basketball league, Liberty Hill Community League Basketball (LHCLB), and its brand new bi-weekly Swoosh Skills Camp.
LHCLB is a community basketball league open to kindergarteners through sixth-graders, and its mission is “to provide an enjoyable, worthwhile experience for all involved students and adults, teach the fundamental rules and skills of basketball, and teach good sportsmanship and other behavior.”
In short, LHCLB is a local league put in place for the purpose of introducing the younger generation to the basics of basketball, and Swoosh is LHCLB’s more competitive program that travels to compete in select tournaments during the spring and summer.
Richardson said he realized that just about every other sport had a competitive youth league in Liberty Hill, so he figured it was time for basketball to catch up.
“We’re kind of the last community league in the area that’s trying to do a more competitive program,” Richardson said. “Soccer kind of has two different divisions, baseball kind of has two different divisions, so we’re just trying to get more interest.”
LHCLB, which starts in October and continues through February, takes place at local gyms and is open to athletes that live in Liberty Hill or are enrolled in a Liberty Hill school. In addition to the fall league, LHCLB recently introduced a bi-weekly Swoosh Skills Camp, a camp that takes place every other Sunday and is open to third- through sixth-grade boys and girls that want to improve during the offseason.
The bi-weekly skills camp includes stations focused on skills like shooting, defense, rebounding, and passing. Participants will also have the opportunity to compete in one-on-one and three-on-three gameplay to apply the individual skills they’ve learned.
“We’ve decided this year, for the first time ever, to create the Swoosh Skills Camp that meets every other Sunday from 4-6 p.m. at a local gym for all the kids that registered to come and work on their skills,” Richardson said. “They go around to different stations and go through some of the basics. The first time we did it, we didn’t think it’d really take off, but we got close to 60 kids from ages third grade to sixth grade girls and boys.”
Richardson’s goal as LHCLB President is to build awareness of the program, create more opportunities for local youth to play competitive basketball, and increase the number of teams at every level to give young Liberty Hill athletes an opportunity to compete against a wider variety of teams.
As the younger Panthers continue to play together throughout their elementary school years and beyond, Richardson’s hope is that they’ll improve their skills and team chemistry as they move up to the junior high and high school levels.
“We’re hoping to build it up and build excitement, help them get better, and also try to keep them playing together, so when they go into junior high and high school they know each other and continue to improve,” Richardson said.
For more information on LHCLB, visit the program’s website at www.lhclb.com or contact Mathew Richardson at 512-423-3672.