Avalon area hoopsters travel to the Bay Area

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A group of local kids traveled to Northern California this past week to participate in a three-day team basketball camp at Saint Mary’s College, a small, beautiful Liberal Arts college, located in Moraga, California.  

It was the experience of a lifetime for these youngsters, one they’ll never forget, especially since it was their first experience visiting San Francisco, one of the great cities in America.

These kids raised their own money through burritos sales as well as community donations to make the trip possible.  

We arrived at the college on Friday morning, July 24 ready to compete in a three-day camp/tournament.  

We played two games on Friday and gained valuable experience on the court.  

Jose Carmen Silva led the team at the point guard position, while Adam Fultz, Oscar Bastida, Julio Hernandez, and Miguel Bonilla played at the perimeter position.  Ernesto Gomez and David Torres-Zeller played at the post position.

This enthusiastic group of young athletes represented their town in fine fashion throughout the three-day experience and acquired an incredible amount of knowledge about one of America’s great sports.  Basketball is the ultimate team sport, and these youngsters gained valuable experience on how to work together on and off the court.

After playing two games on Friday, the group hustled back to the hotel, showered and jumped on the BART subway headed to San Francisco for the evening to savor this magnificent city in person.  On Saturday morning, we made a quick visit to the University of California at Berkeley.  

It was a wonderful opportunity for these juniors and seniors to visit a huge, prestigious university in contrast to a small liberal arts/business college like Saint Mary’s.   

We took some pictures, toured the campus, and then returned back to St. Mary’s, a 15-minute drive, to play three more basketball games.  

The boys began to wear down physically against the good competition from the bigger schools.   

It was clear throughout the camp that this group of basketball players has great potential to succeed; however, they could certainly benefit from practice in a gym together as a team.  

Hopefully, the future will provide those opportunities as the district completes the projects on campus and the school gym opens up once again.  

The camp experience revealed that these boys are skilled but need to become more patient, disciplined and fundamentally sound.   

Only consistent practice could bring about these changes.  

They also need to develop more positive thinking strategies.  

We live in a society that has   increasingly negative influences and our young people need more team building experiences like this one to battle against these forces. 

 That said, life is wonderful, especially here on Catalina Island, and trips like this only emphasize our uniqueness and help our kids appreciate that even more.  

Our youth deserve to grow up in a world where they are NOT controlled by technology and restrictions that limit more of these types of opportunities.  

This road trip included real life experiences, games, and off-season development, all necessary ingredients to a successful basketball program. 

After playing three games on Saturday, we traveled back to our hotel, jumped in our vehicles and went off to eat dinner and bowl.  

There is no stopping this group from fun and frivolity. One highlight of this cosmic bowling experience was a 204 game turned in by Coach Hall. 

However, we were not yet finished-we still had one more game on Sunday morning, and a quick visit to the beautiful St. Mary’s Chapel for a quick moment of reflection on the good things that life brings to us.  

After an eight-hour drive south, and a return boat trip our group crawled off the Catalina Express to the welcoming arms of family and friends in typical Avalon fashion.  

There is nothing better than returning to our beautiful bay and community, especially after such a wonderful experience.  We appreciate the support from the families and the community, which continue to help our academic and athletic endeavors.   

A special thank you goes out to Assistant Coach, Rueben Segura, and parent rep, Eileen Torres-Zeller, who accompanied us on the trip as chaperones.  Together, we make a good team!

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