Forest Grove and Banks combine forces and draw a record number of campers

by: NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD - Forest Grove graduate Michael Garcia supervises the action during the fifth annual Viking Hoop Camp, which was held at the high school last week. The camp drew a record turnout of about 170 kids in grades 2-10.Even though school was out for summer last week, Forest Grove High School had a full house.

At least in the gymnasiums.

A record turnout of 170 boys participated in the Viking Hoop Camp, an annual basketball clinic staged at the school. The camp, open to players entering grades 2 though 10, kicked off last Tuesday and continued through Friday.

“It was a lot of fun. The kids played a lot of basketball,” said Greg Evers, Forest Grove boys head coach and the camp director. “We got a lot of kids involved, so we’re happy about it.”

During the week, campers not only got to work on fundamentals and play scrimmages, but they also got to brush shoulders with western Washington County high school players and coaches.

Plenty of players and members of the Vikings coaching staff were on hand to coach the youngsters, as were players and coaches from Banks High School, including head coach Pat Marlia. In previous years, the two programs had staged separate camps, Evers said, but the decision was made to join forces this year, which contributed to the record high turnout.

This year’s edition was the camp’s fifth, Evers said, and the previous high turnout was somewhere around 110 to 120 kids.

“I think our facility has a lot to do with that, and also in our advertisement,” Evers noted.

Of course, the new Basinksi Center has greatly expanded gymnasium space at the high school. But even with the extra room, the groups for players in grades 5 to 7 and 8 to 10 were about maxed out, Evers said.

So with that many players, he may look at tweaking the camp format next year.

That’s a nice problem to have.

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