St. Ray’s Basketball camp bounces on

Now could be your chance to boost your basketball skills with the experts.

The annual basketball camp at St. Raymond’s High School for Boys in Parkchester gets rolling August 18 to August 22.

And organizers are bouncing with excitement about this year’s slate of activities.

“It’s competitive, but at the same time it’s a lot of fun,” said Jorge Lopez, St. Raymond’s head coach and the head honcho of this year’s camp.

Basic skill training

Players on the high school team will join Lopez at the camp to help teach hoops fundamentals — and help tackle the mental side of the game as well.

“It’s an opportunity to try and teach and mold these kids,” said Lopez. “A lot of players think all you have to do is push the ball into the basket. But we stress all elements of the game.”

The camp only lasts a week, but Lopez said he hopes campers will be able to use the lessons learned when they practice on their own time.

‘Truck’ in the house

And they’ll be joined by some special guests, who will watch some of the competitive games.

Alumni from the St. Ray’s program who have gone on to play at Division I schools will be on hand to help out and share stories.

Alums who are expected to attend this year’s camp include Daniel Dingle, who plays at Temple University, Kerwen Okoro, who plays at Rutgers, and Darryl “Truck” Bryant, who played at West Virginia before making a go at a pro career in Europe.

Raising $$$ for program

The week-long camp costs $200. The money raised will go toward buying the program a new scoring table, as well as new chairs, said Lopez.

Those new amenities would help give St. Ray’s games “ a real college feel,” said Lopez.

“We’re trying to create that kind of intense, competitive vibe,” he said.

He added that all summer campers will be eligible for a free basketball clinic at the school in the fall.

Many campers return year after year. Some end up playing for the high school team.

Others stick around even longer than that.

“It’s not just a money maker, they make you feel like family,” said Joe Amelio, a former camper who now serves as an assistant on Lopez’s staff.

“That’s how I felt and that’s why I always came back.”

Reach Reporter Ben Kochman at (718) 742–3394. E-mail him at Follow him on Twitter @benkochman.

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