The hustle continues
GVSU men's basketball team stays busy with offseason workouts, summer camps
The Grand Valley State men's basketball team’s season came to an end in late February in GLIAC Tournament action with a 67-59 loss to Findlay. The Lakers, who closed the 2016-17 season 16-13 overall, said goodbye to three seniors in Trevin Alexander, Luke Ryskamp and Juwan Starks.
As players leave and seasons end, new young and hungry prospects show up to GVSU summer camps hoping to impress the coaches and get an offer to join Laker basketball.
For the JV and Varsity Shootouts, all teams receive a minimum of six games. The first day includes three games in a round-robin format. On the second day, each team participates in a tournament to decide camp champion. (Teams losing first two games will receive a third consolation game.) These camps took place Saturday, June 10, through Sunday, June 11; Friday, June 16, through Saturday, June 17; Friday, June 23, through Saturday, June 24; and Monday, June 26, through Tuesday, June 27.
The Day Camp gives specialized instruction to elementary and middle-school-aged kids to improve the skills of each individual camper. Campers receive daily instruction on many important concepts and skills that are vital. Between 60 and 70 campers attend every day, and the GVSU players are the counselors. The Day Camp took place from Monday, June 12, though Wednesday, June 14.
The Exposure Camps are designed to improve the player’s position skill while allowing them to get exposure to the NCAA recruiting process. The camp includes an elite level of competition, intense individual workouts and evaluation by Grand Valley State coaching staff. The first Exposure Camp took place Thursday, June 15.
Although the actual GVSU basketball squad has no regular season games against other schools during the summer, Coach Ric Wesley keeps the program busy.
“June ended up being one of our busier months of the year,” Wesley said. “We have four different team shootouts, as well as two-day jamborees where high school teams come here and play games. There’s 130 teams over those four shootouts, and each team probably brought 12 kids, so we probably had 1,500 kids here for our shootouts. The camps are both recruiting vehicles and fundraisers for us, so it’s a busy but productive time."
Wesley said over the years they’ve had several guys who found their way onto the team whom they first saw at one of the shootout camps in the summer.
GVSU guard Myles Miller said in addition to helping out with the camps, the team stays active and in shape during the spring and summer semesters.
“We usually start off with a six-week program with the team,” Miller said. “Monday, Wednesday and Friday we’ll lift in the morning and get a great workout in with our trainer. Monday through Thursday we play open gym in the evening. We have people come out from all different schools, and we play against each other, and it usually ends up being highly competitive. That’s the main thing we do as a team, and then everyone has their individual workouts as well."
GVSU center Drake Baar, who helped and observed recruits at the camps, is excited about three new transfer players.
“The three transfer guys lived here for the whole six-week program,” Baar said. “It was really helpful having them here and getting to know them and their game."
The three transfers are forward Kindred Williams, as well as guards Chris Pearl and Hunter Hale.
The final GVSU summer camp, the second Exposure Camp, takes place later this month Friday, July 28.