Maspeth High School wrapped up its second summer basketball camp, where local middle school students came together to learn the fundamentals of basketball, play some games and, most importantly, have fun.
The one-week camp session, which ended on Friday, was led by Maspeth High School’s boys varsity basketball team head coach Anastasia Bitis, who helped lead the Argonauts to an undefeated record last year and a city championship.
Thirty area middle school students attended this year’s camp at Maspeth High School. Boys and girls of all levels got the chance to hone their skills, learn new ones and play plenty of basketball games.
“The kids love it,” Bitis said. “We had an extensive waiting list this year. We teach the kids the fundamentals and how to work together with team work.”
“The main thing we want the kids to learn is to work hard and to work with each other,” she continued. “It’s important for the more skilled players to help make the others better. The goal is for the kids to have fun overall, to grow their love of the game and to stay fit.”
Bitis explained that during the one-week camp the students are trained in several drills and exercises including conditioning skills, half-court and full-court drills, jump shooting, layups and dribbling skills.
“The kids get to learn a little bit of everything,” Bitis said. “And then they get to incorporate what they’ve learned into the game situations.”
After skills training, the kids are broken up into teams where they play games against each other in one-on-one, three-on-three and five-on-five style games. Bitis invited players from the Argonauts to join as counselors, where they help teach the kids and act as coaches for the teams.
“When coach Bitis asked me to come back and be a counselor this year, I said I would love to do it,” said Damian Piszczatowki, former player on the Argonauts who graduated this year and will be attending John Jay College next year. “I really enjoy it. I came back this year because I love working with the kids, teaching them and helping them grow. It’s fun to interact with them and you get the opportunity to play like a kid again.”
“It’s been a great experience,” said Christian Ramirez, who is entering his senior year at Maspeth High School. “As someone who started playing basketball at an older age, it’s nice to see them playing the game at a young age. One of my favorite things about the camp is the coaching. Seeing it from the coach’s perspective is different.”
The kids were excited to get the chance to learn new skills and play some basketball.
“I think the camp is really good,” said Jesse Morales, 13, who is entering eighth grade at St. Adalbert School in September. “It’s really fun and we are learning a lot. We get to learn exercises, run around, practice dribbling, the basics and how to perfect them.”
“I like the councilors. They’re fun,” said Ashley Petrasovic, 12, who is going into the eighth grade at P.S. 128. “The people here make you learn a lot of new stuff. I like the three-on-three and five-on-five games we play.”
As the camp came to a close, certificates and special awards were handed out to the players.
“We have the MVP award, the most improved player award, the best defensive player award and the coach’s award,” Bitis said. “We also have a skills competition and the winner gets a free T-shirt.”