It’s been 20 years, and kids keep bouncing back to coach Greg Lowell’s doorstep — at his second home, the Inglemoor High gym — for some hoops action.
And he’s glad to guide them through the doors and impart his basketball wisdom on them at his annual week-long camp.
Last Wednesday, nearly 60 athletes — tall and small, some with bushy hair and others sporting crew cuts — got down to business on eight hoops with Lowell and his team of coaches, who are current and past Viking players.
The boys in grades 7-11 gave the gym floor a workout with their dribbling abilities and also scorched the nets with jump shots.
Lowell, Inglemoor’s boys head coach, says he gets excited when the camp rolls around each summer.
“I’m pretty pleased with the kids. We’ve got some pretty unselfish kids, where a lot of times you might get players who dribble the whole time,” said a relaxed Lowell after cleaning up the gym for the day. “It’s also a good deal for the (Inglemoor) coaches because they get to do this as a group. They get to coach, referee and teach … It’s a good growing experience for them, as well as the kids at camp.”
Lowell’s camp runs the gamut, from little guys battling with big fellas during scrimmages to the coach showing players how to succeed on offense with help of recent Viking graduate Brandon Washington.
As the campers watched, Lowell had Washington guard him as he twisted and turned his body to get in position for a pass near the hoop. “You don’t have to be a great skills guy if you can get in position,” Lowell said. “Get down there and want the ball … ask for the basketball inside.”
Washington, who played two years of Inglemoor varsity ball, first attended the camp in seventh grade and has never stopped coming back.
“It was really about being with friends,” he said. “And you really learn the Inglemoor system. Lowell teaches a lot of fundamentals and stuff that really helps you play good basketball.”
At the end of the two-hour session, Lowell handed out special T-shirts to the most valuable players and tested the kids’ basketball trivia knowledge with questions involving the schools attended by Bill Walton (UCLA), “Pistol” Pete Maravich (Lousiana State University) and Lorenzo Romar (University of Washington).
Incoming Inglemoor sophomore Greg Hubert earned an MVP shirt with his impressive play in the scrimmage. With hair flying everywhere, Hubert was everywhere on the court, displaying crisp passes and a lethal jump shot.
“The best part is the coaches, the high-school players — they really get into it, you can see that. They’re really passionate about the game of basketball,” Hubert said.
He added that the camp allows players to show off their skills to Lowell and crew.
“(Playing for Inglemoor) has been my dream, I’ve been coming to these games since I was little,” said the fourth-year camper. “I see the student section, and I hope to hear them chanting my name. That’s my goal.”
Lowell noted that many Viking campers — like Al Minihan, Jeremy Eggers and Andy Anderson — starred on Inglemoor teams when they got older. Hubert and others may just be the next in line.