Some common themes have arisen in the couple of basketball camps I've had the pleasure of covering this summer.

The Oklahoma City Thunder held a Thunder Youth Basketball Camp June 18 at the Al Horton Special Events Center in McAlester. Children ages 6-14 were able to participate and divided into morning and afternoon sessions. 

It was heart warming to see not only the effort the kids gave, but the fulfillment that came from that camp. The camp was a foundation to teach something constructive to the participants, who said they would implement the things they learned going forward. This is an encouraging sign that this camp should return to the area in the future.

Then there's the Lil Buffs Basketball Camp that just wrapped up on Thursday. New McAlester boys coach Will Holiman wasn't wrong when he talked about the talent in the area, even among children between kindergarten and second grade. 

These kids gave off the vibes that not only are they good for their age, but the maturity they showed for being young as well. It's not easy to hold the attention of a child that young for two hours straight, and while Thursday was no exception, Holiman deserves credit for pushing through those moments and keeping them active. 

Their ability to hustle, work hard and pick up on things quickly after making mistakes was quite impressive.

Holiman said he hopes to grow the game and bring back this camp on an annual basis. Participants would certainly reap the benefits of this in more ways than one. It's an opportunity to have fun and make friends while also learning basketball skills and life skills. They'd grow the game and increase their involvement in this community. 

Time flies by, and kids grow up fast. Perhaps the ones who were at camp this week will one day win a state championship at a local school.

Contact Corey Stolzenbach at 

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