By Kevin Wilson
Long before Jack Hale played post for the Portales High basketball team, he was a grade-schooler just learning the ropes at the Ram Fundamentals Camp.
Now, he looks at this year’s campers and hopes they take a similar path.
“It’s weird looking at the little kids in the morning session, remembering we were like that,” said Hale, now a 6-foot-2, 185-pound senior-to-be at PHS. “Now we’re (camp) coaches at high school, (getting ready) for our last season of basketball.”
Approximately 60 participants came Monday for the first of four days of the annual boys basketball camp at PHS. Ram coach Mark Gallegos has done the camps since he has coached at Portales.
“We did a lot of things today,” Gallegos said. “We did a lot of fundamental things.”
There are two sessions for the camp — a morning session for campers entering grades 4-6 and an afternoon session for those entering grades 7-9.
The camp includes several competition, but Gallegos feels the skills that campers learn will be the best reward if they want to move to the next level of basketball, whether it is with a junior high, junior varsity or varsity squad for Portales.
“It helps a lot,” Gallegos said. “It helps to get familiar with the coaching staff (and teammates),” Gallegos said. “You look to build some camraderie and you get excited to someday play for Portales.”
That’s the situation that Hale is in, along with several of his teammates that act as coaches throughout the camp.
“Everything’s going good, I think they’re learning a lot,” Hale said. “A lot of these kids have been to the camp previously. They know what the program’s like a little bit.”