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Breathe Basketball camp a huge success as Buccs come together to drive success

Jake Santa MariaGeraldton Guardian
Liam Hunt and Shaun Stewart watch their teams battle out the semifinal.
Camera IconLiam Hunt and Shaun Stewart watch their teams battle out the semifinal. Credit: Jake Santa Maria

Buccaneers came together for a basketball extravaganza as Breathe Basketball hosted its inaugural mega camp this week.

Founded by Liam Hunt and brother Jesse, with the support of dad Dan, Breathe Basketball looked to support young basketballers looking to improve their skills and knowledge of the game no matter where they are in their basketball journey.

The camp held over four days put participants in a team with their own coach and put them through drills, training and competition culminating in a finals tournament on Thursday.

Liam Hunt said Geraldton had not seen a camp like this in almost 30 years and the week had been a huge success.

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“The support from the parents and the kids has just poured in,” he said.

“The young kids worked on passing, shooting, defence and ball handling and then the older kids have been working on offensive defence with a lot of our highly skilled coaches.”

“We lost a heartbreaker in the semis to miss out on the grand final and for a silly little camp that goes for four days it’s probably one of my highlights to see how much these kids actually care about winning, care about each other, care about their own performance.”

The camp was open to kids born between 2008 and 2012 and attracted more than 100 players.

“Our minimum number was 80 and I thought we’d barely reach that but in the end we actually had to turn a couple kids away just because we were at capacity,” Hunt said.

“I take care of about 160 of them at school so it’s nothing to me but might have been a bit of a shock for some of the other boys.”

Along with Hunt himself, most of the coaching staff was made up of fellow Buccs teammates and top women’s players from the Geraldton Amateur Basketball Association.

“These guys are fantastic, they just come in and every day, they’re just so positive and I couldn’t do it without them all the coaches have been outstanding,” he said.

“To have my teammates here and build our team bonding. Some have full-time jobs . . . and they’ve said, ‘No, we come to help you out for a week’, that’s that’s been really humbling and I can’t thank them enough.

“Kids just love Johny (Narkle), they love Shaun (Stewart), they love Malik (Meunier) they’re all fan favourites.

“To get those guys here I don’t think they understand how great their impact is.”

While it was a joy for the kids, Hunt also admitted there was a friendly rivalry among the Buccs teammates wanting to coach their team to success.

“It’ll provide plenty of trash talk to use later on in the season,” he joked.

Hunt called the camp a huge success and hoped to make it an annual event.

“It has been a fantastic success, I’d love to do it every year, but we just have to work out those little negotiations and make sure we get all the nitty gritty done on the business end,” he said.

“We want to make sure that we do the right thing by everybody, but I just really really enjoyed it.

“I mean to have 112 kids just right off the end of basketball season still wanting to play this beautiful game is fantastic.”

While the camp is now over, Breathe Basketball will be holding small group trainings throughout the school term with details available at their website https://www.breathebasketball.com.au.

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