Nearly 50 kids ranging in age from the first to sixth grade had the opportunity last week to learn the game of basketball from the people in Alvarado who know it best, the players and coaches of the high school basketball team.

The varsity boys basketball team and head coach Reggie Lewis hosted the high school’s annual camp.

Lewis said that having a lot of kids attending the camp is a huge factor in the success of the weeklong event.

“We have 48 kids this year, which is a pretty good number,” Lewis said. “I was hoping to get 50 or a little bit more.”

Another key to the camp’s success is the attitude the kids and coaches show, Lewis said.

“It’s important that the kids come in with a great attitude every day,” Lewis said. “The coaches and players need to come in showing that same attitude, energy and enthusiasm.”

That attitude is so important that not having it could be detrimental to the camp, according to Lewis.

“If they are not coachable and willing to listen, then this is pretty much pointless,” he said.

Lewis also said the camp addresses a problem with youth sports in the area.

“Our biggest problem in this area is that our younger kids don’t understand the game of basketball, including the very basic fundamentals,” Lewis said. “That is what we are going for, we are trying to get the younger kids going.”

Getting through to the kids now will help them in their basketball career later on, he said.

“That way when they get to junior high and high school, we can be more advanced in their coaching,” Lewis said. “We don’t have to work on the proper way to shoot a lay-up. Instead we can work on motion offense or a press and press-break.”

Lewis stressed that any of the 48 kids who attended the camp will eventually have a chance of making it to the high school varsity level.

“Any kid, if they come to camp, they learn the fundamentals, they practice the fundamentals and they work hard, they have a chance to play in high school,” Lewis said. “Any kid that wants to and puts in the time and effort can make it. As long as they have a good attitude, if they are coachable and if they put forth the effort they can play.”

As a coach, this camp also helps Lewis.

“(The camp) re-energizes me,” Lewis said. “After the season is over and it’s been a tough year, I love working with the kids, especially the smaller kids. Since I work with the high school kids all the time, this gives me an opportunity to work with the younger kids and I really just feed off their energy and I try to reiterate that energy back to them.”

The camp also gives him a chance to learn.

“The best way to learn is to teach and I am always learning as I teach,” Lewis said. “I just love the game of basketball, I have a passion for it and I love to help kids succeed and this camp gives me a chance to do all these things.”