The sound of bouncing basketballs filled Logan High School’s Willie Akers Arena on Wednesday and Thursday mornings for the annual Runnin’ Wildcat Basketball Camp.
The camp, which was scheduled to conclude on Friday morning, attracted nearly 100 area boys and girls from the age of 3 on up to middle school students.
This year’s camp was run for the first time by Allan Hatcher, the new head coach of the Logan Wildcats.
Hatcher replaced his son Mark Hatcher, who recently resigned after 15 seasons.
Allan Hatcher, a former Logan High School player and LHS assistant coach, had been the head coach at Chapmanville Regional High School the last three seasons, leading the Tigers to the 2014 Class AA state tournament at the Charleston Civic Center.
Participation was very strong for the camp. It was a bit of a surprise given the lateness of the camp which is usually held on the month of June.
“We have an upwards of 90 kids at the camp,” Allan Hatcher said as he took a break and surveyed the turnout. “You never know what you are going to get this time of the year because Mark always had the camp right when school was getting out. It was a crazy year with the school year with all of the snow, so school had to go longer. But I’m excited to have almost 100 kids at this time of the year because a lot of families go on vacation. I’m really excited about our turnout.”
All of the basketball fundamentals, from dribbing and shooting, to passing, defense and footwork were tought by Hatcher and his camp instructors, made up of his assistant coaches and current and former Logan players.
“We are teaching the basketball fundamentals,” Hatcher said. “We’re trying to get the kids started in basketball as quickly as we can. You learn basketball by repetition and then repetition becomes a habit. I tell them that you can’t become a basketball player just by being in this camp. You have to take what you get here and go to work. We’re excited about the opportunity because I’ve been doing this 40 years in my life and I still have a passion to continue to do it. We’ve been looking forward to doing the camp today. The bottom line is that the turnout just makes me more motivated to do a good job.”
The camp was Hatcher’s first official function as Logan’s basketball coach.
Back in June, however, Hatcher broke in as the Wildcat coach as he led his team through the three-week summer practice period.
Hatcher said he liked what he saw from his new team.
“We never had all of our kids together because of the vacations and with school being out so late,” Hatcher said. “The bottom line is that we were really good and we saw some really good things. All of our kids worked together. We never had the whole team but we’ve got some pieces to the puzzle. Now we just have got to put them together. I was happy.
“We got to meet the kids and get to know them. We got to get to know them personally and we got to see them play basketball. The three-week period was very positive to us.”