About 60 young athletes are looking to enhance their talent on the hardwood this week at a summer basketball skills camp at Harrison's Sollazzo Center.
The camp is in its third year under Harrison's Varsity Basketball Coach Gary Chiarella, who is entering his fourth year as head coach.
Basketball camp costs $200 for the week and each child is given a basketball, a T-shirt and a week filled with instruction from qualified staff members including current Harrison basketball players Mike Chiarella and Benny Menniti.
"This camp is a little bit of everything," said coach Mike Chiarella. "We try not to be so hard core basketball, we try to make it fun. We do a lot of basketball but we also try to play some type of other athletic type of game."
Campers are taught the fundamentals of the sport of basketball along with an array of other athletic activities such as wiffle ball and kickball as well as utilizing the Sollazzo Center's game room.
The first two days of camp have been hurt by rain so the camp has yet to go swimming, but it is on the agenda to take the kids to the Brentwood Pool during the day.
"It is a little tough with the weather this year," said coach Chiarella. "We have never had it where it has rained like this the first two days, but the kids have been great and they are helping each other out, and we are plugging along."
Coach Chiarella is also hopping that his camp will help the varsity program grow in the future. By teaching athletes at an early age the commitment that it takes to be a varsity athlete, as well as introducing the young players to the varsity coaching staff.
"It brings us closer to the younger kids," said coach Chiarella. "They get to see the varsity players up close and personal, we give the kids a varsity schedule at the end of camp and we invite them to some of the games and practices. Plus I get to see the younger kids play, which I wouldn't normally get to do because I am busy during the season."
The camp continues until the end of the week and will help the young athletes improve and have fun, which in is really what the week at camp is all about.