Former JHS superstars bring local blood to youth basketball camp
Mason Walters and Boden Skunberg are hosting a WM youth basketball camp August 8-10 at Jamestown's Two Rivers Activity Center (TRAC).
JAMESTOWN — The boys are back in town.
Three and a half years ago, Mason Walters and Boden Skunberg were on the floor helping the Jamestown High School basketball team to its first state championship since 1993.
Next week, the two former Blue Jays workhorses will be back in the gym together, but this time it will be at Jamestown's Two Rivers Activity Center (TRAC).
Walters and Skunberg will be featured and tasked with helping to coach the Woodside-Moormann Youth Basketball Camp Monday through Wednesday, Aug. 8-10, at TRAC.
The camp offers a session for grades 2-5 from 8 to 9:30 a.m. followed by a session for grades 6-8 from 10 a.m. to noon.
Luke Moormann, camp director and coach of Woodside-Moormann (WM) Camps, was in contact with Jamestown Parks and Recreation Director Amy Walters and TRAC to get the camp to come to Jamestown yet another time.
"We thought that Jamestown would be an awesome place to come help players develop there skills and work on the fundamentals," Moormann said. "It is a basketball-minded community with beautiful facilities so that made the decision easy. We would love to continue to come back to the TRAC and Jamestown, as it’s always been a fun camp."
Moormann said WM camps limit each session to 40 kids per age group so that the kids are getting as many reps as possible during the camp.
As of early August, Moorman said each session is close to half full.
Moormann said if there are still interested parties who would like to attend the camp, the registration forms can be found at at www.woodside-moormanncamps.com .
"I have helped out with Woodside-Moormann camps in the past and they have been a blast," Walters said. "I've enjoyed being able to help and coach the kids and I am excited for it to be back in Jamestown this summer."
Prior to agreeing to help out with the WM camp, Walters helped out in three camps with North Dakota AAU basketball coach Garrett Bickett and Next Level Training. While he's been around basketball camps pretty much his entire life, there is just something different about the WM style.
Moormann said the camps are a bit different than most camps in that the coaches really work on the fundamentals and skills of each player, trying to teach them drills that they can use to better their game.
Unlike some other youth basketball camps, Moormann said the campers who attend the WM camp won't participate in very many competitions or games as they are looking to really hone in on the basics before any type of competition.
"I think this is a great opportunity for kids to take advantage of," Walters said. "I enjoy seeing the kids' excitement when they come to camp and the energy they bring. It is also awesome to see them learn and get better throughout the week."
Julie Van Berkom signed her son, Eric, up for the camp because he had participated in WM camps in the past and has enjoyed the experience.
Van Berkom said Eric simply loves the game of basketball and that the WM camp gives him the opportunity to spend time with his friends and be instructed by some very knowledgeable coaches.
"We are lucky a camp of this caliber is offered in Jamestown," Van Berkom said. "I think anytime the kids have a ball in their hand it's beneficial. Eric has mentioned he really likes the coaches and it's fun. That's the most important thing for a kid that age, having fun playing."
Van Berkom also said having two great college players in the gym is also a big draw for Eric and other kids in the community. Bringing in local talent, like Walters and Skunberg, is something they try and do whenever they run a camp as it gives someone to look up to and something to aspire to.
"(The kids) learn from them and hear how they made it to where they are today," Moormann said.
Having local blood in the gym gives the kids a chance to work with that player or coach and get to know them a little bit more while still sharing the connection that comes from being from the same community.
Moormann said another benefit of having both Walters and Skunberg on the floor is they both bring a different knowledge to each aspect to the game position-wise as Walters is more of a big-man role while Skunberg is tasked with a guard-type role.
"I’m most excited to be a part of the kids basketball journeys and hope to be a staple to their love for the game," Skunberg said. "Having Mason as a co-coach will be great a great part of the camp quality because we both share the same views on training and the same love for the game.
Walters returned the compliment.
"I think Boden being there will be very beneficial because he is a great player and has been around the game and knows a lot about basketball and working with younger players."
Skunberg said he has helped out with a handful of youth camps since he's been at NDSU. The soon-to-be academic junior said he loves coaching the younger kids and plans on teaching them the little things he wish he would have known at their age like pushing themselves as hard as they can and really having fun with the game.
Skunberg said having fun with the kids while they are learning a drill is one of the best ways he's found to work with kids of a young age. Skunberg said campers' parents can expect their little ballers to have a lot of fun with himself and Walters while also learning a lot in regards to the game of basketball.
"I hope at the end of camp I personally gained a relationship with everyone who attended and that everyone learns something new that will make them a better player," Skunberg said.