Best Hoops Premier camp returns

By ALEX SPONSELLER
Posted 7/23/20

Bishop Hendricken's Best Hoops Premier Basketball Camp is in the middle of another summer of fun, despite undergoing some changes due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The camp, which runs for three weeks in total, has capped the

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Best Hoops Premier camp returns

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Bishop Hendricken’s Best Hoops Premier Basketball Camp is in the middle of another summer of fun, despite undergoing some changes due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The camp, which runs for three weeks in total, has capped the number of campers and coaches to abide by the state’s health-related procedures. Campers are also expected to go through regular symptom screenings, use their own equipment, and regularly sanitize the items used. Along with that, the school has been regularly sanitizing the courts, hoops, and has split campers up into the same stable groups throughout the duration of the program.

“It’s been going very well. It looks different than it has in the past, obviously, with COVID. We had to get it approved by the state of Rhode Island, Bishop Hendricken approved us, we’re very lucky that we are able to do this. We’ve had to adapt our program. We aren’t doing 3-on-3 or 5-on-5 competitions so campers aren’t sharing basketballs, but we are still doing drills, shooting competitions. We have stable groups playing in different areas. It’s a lot, but we feel very blessed to be able to have camp this summer in some capacity,” said Jamal Gomes, who runs the camp and is the school’s athletic director and basketball coach.

Although establishing a new, safe program was a daunting task initially, local basketball families were eager to have their kids hit the court and stay active during this unusual summer. Gomes is also using this situation to evaluate the camp in greater detail for the future.

“A lot is going to depend on if a vaccine comes out, then of course, the stages with the state of Rhode Island. It has made me look at the camp and ways that we can be even more efficient, I do believe coming out of this will be some changes that will help our camps moving forward. One of the big reasons why we decided to do our camp this summer was the feedback from the parents. They wanted to get their kids out of the house in a safe environment … the kids have been cooped up in the house for three, four months,” said Gomes. “There was an overwhelming response from the parents that wanted to get their kids out of the house and active.”

Gomes is proud of his staff for making sure it delivered first-class instruction for another summer and continued to do right by Bishop Hendricken.

“This is the world we live in, and if we want to have camp then we’ll have to do things the right way. That’s how we do things at Bishop Hendricken, we get things done the right way,” Gomes said. “It took us some months to prepare, all of our coaches that are running camps have had to do this. A lot has gone into making this happen. The staff, the parents, the campers, they’re all thrilled to be out there to just play and have some fun.”

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