BY ANDREAS BUTLER
The Joe Giddens Basketball Camp will take place at Mainland High School June 5-8 from 8 a.m. until noon.
The event is available for both boys and girls ages 8 to 15. There is a one-time fee of $60.
The camp is an initative of Daytona Beach native and current Mainland boys’ basketball coach Joe Giddens.
“I’ve been doing this for 10 years at Spruce Creek so when I got to Mainland I decided to continue it. It’s also a good way to get the community involved, “Giddens explained.
“It gets the kids in the community involved and out to do some basketball and something constructive during the summertime. It also gives me and other coaches a chance to see who can play as well.’’
A skills camp
Giddens took over the Mainland Buccaneers program earlier this year after leading the Spruce Creek boys program for the past eight seasons.
He led the Spruce Creek’s girls program for four years prior to leading the boys team.
Giddens’ camp is a skills camp that will focus on the basic fundamentals of the game, including the proper way to dribble, proper passing and proper shooting techniques.
Kids will be under the instruction of the Mainland High School basketball coaching staff.
“We will have fun at the camp. We will do the fundamentals, but we will also play games. When I did this at Creek, we had over 100 people on just one court. At Mainland, there are multiple courts so we can do more,” said Giddens.
Focus on fundamentals
Having the proper skills are essential for kids who want to play high school basketball and beyond.
Giddens emphasized, “I think skills wise in Volusia County as for high school kids we are a little behind. Coming back to Mainland, I think that I need to focus more on fundamentals. There are a lot of great athletes playing basketball that don’t have the fundamentals. If I or other coaches can improve their fundamentals, they can become better players.”
In addition to basketball, the camp plans to build community relationships and teach youngsters about life.
More than basketball
Giddens told the Daytona Times, “I don’t do stuff for money but to build better young men and ladies. It’s important for the kids to learn basketball but better people. I push the kids to work hard during the camp.
“We also want to teach them that it is important to finish things that they start. We also teach life lessons. The camp also builds relationships. I think God put me here at Mainland for a reason. I think I am going to be able to do some good things here.”
Giddens has local roots having grown up in Daytona. He was a standout in high school at Mainland in both football and basketball. He was a member of two state champion Buccaneers basketball teams – in 1995 and 1996.
In addition, he played football and basketball at Bethune-Cookman. He also played some semi-pro football.
Despite the camp having a fee, Giddens has plans for a free camp down the road.
Giddens said, “The cost is to help support our high school basketball team here at Mainland. I will do a free camp for the kids in the area on a weekend during the school year.”
To register for the camp, contact Coach Joe Giddens at 386-212-7283 or firstname.lastname@example.org.