Myles MacNeill and Emanuel Urzi attended the 2021 Falcon Basketball Camp to improve their skills and prepare for their sophomore seasons at Albertus Magnus High School in Bardonia.
“I do like to come here because it does help me get better but it’s also a lot of fun,” Myles, who played on the school’s freshman team in 2020-2021, told CNY. “I do like to have fun, see friends and meet new people.”
The summer camp was for boys who are rising second-graders through rising sophomores. A one-week camp was six hours daily for each of the five days; two one-week camps with about 80 boys each week were held July 12-16 and July 26-30.
“What I’ve really learned this week is how close everybody is because it seems everyone on this campus is friends with one another,” said Emanuel, a member of the freshman team in 2020-2021.
“I really like the community of everybody here (at Albertus Magnus)—all the coaches, teachers, my peers—they’re all friendly and very open.”
Campers are instructed by high school and college students, as well as adults. The camp is for young players looking to learn and improve fundamental skills in hope of competing at the CYO, middle school, high school and collegiate levels. And it’s also for young competitors just looking to learn the game and have fun.
“This is a great camp,” said Neven Noor, a rising senior, former camper, now camp counselor and varsity basketball player at Albertus Magnus. “Any kid who wants to develop their game definitely should consider this. These guys really do care about the players and developing the players.”
Campers worked on a particular basketball skill on each of the camp’s first four days. During the camp week of July 26-30, campers were instructed on their footwork on Monday, ball handling on Tuesday, shooting on Wednesday and defense on Thursday. Games are played on these days to determine records and seedings for the playoffs on the final day of camp known as Fun Friday.
“Two years ago I attended camp. I learned a lot of little details that helped my game. A lot of the pointers from my coaches, now I can give those pointers to the kids in the camp today,” said Brian Metcalf, a rising senior, camp counselor and varsity basketball player at Albertus Magnus.
“I loved being a camper; playing the games was a lot of fun. Now that I’m a coach, that’s pretty fun, too.”
Raul Lopez, a 1998 graduate of Albertus Magnus, has been teaching physical education at the school since 2006 and is entering his fifth season as junior varsity boys basketball coach after serving 12 seasons as an assistant coach for the varsity girls basketball program.
Lopez said he enjoys seeing the campers progress from the first to last day of camp, and watching them have fun.
“I obviously love the game of basketball, so to teach it and bring that to someone is awesome,” he said. “It’s something I really enjoy.”
The boys basketball camp is in its third year since returning in 2018. There was no camp in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Boys basketball is one of several sports camps offered each summer at Albertus Magnus.
“I think parents will send their kids here to the camps to get a feel for the school,” Lopez said. “I think the kids really do enjoy themselves here. Hopefully that in turn gives us a leg up when the kids are choosing a high school.”