Join us for our 2021 basketball camp!
Join us for our 2021 basketball camp!
Hoops Unlimited Basketball Camp, formerly the East Rowan Basketball Camp, began in 1994 at East Rowan High School. The camp was started by basketball coaches Jim Brooks, Rhonda Elliott, Mike Waddell, and myself. Our first year of camp, we had 25 registered for the first week and 18 for the second week. Camp started with 43 campers for the first year. The rest is history. The third year of camp we grew to three sessions- 3rd and 4th grades, 5th and 6th grades, and 7th-9th grades- and over 150 campers. We wanted to expose participants to a four day camp that was full of intense basketball skill instruction in the morning and hands-on scrimmage games in the afternoon, where they can put the skills they learned earlier, into play. We would focus on shooting, passing, ball handling, rebounding, individual defense, and individual offense in teaching sessions each day. We wanted beginners and experienced players alike to enjoy camp and focus on indivual improvement both on and off the court. We always wanted to make a camp meal part of the camp experience. The first two year of camp we placed orders everyday from Hardees in Rockwell. When the campers arrived in the morning, we would take individual orders, along with their money, and we would call in the orders to Hardees. Obviously, the more campers we had, the bigger an undertaking it was to get all the orders correct. The fourth year of camp, we decided we were going to prepare the meals ourselves under the current format. We gave the campers a choice of two prices- one price with “all you can eat” lunch included and a lower price where the camper brought a lunch from home. You might be able to guess what happened. We ended up with food left over and many of the “bring lunch from home” campers told us “That really looks good. Can we have some?” And of course we gave them what was left! By the fourth year, lunch was included for all campers. The camp remained at East Rowan under the original name, through 2001, at which time a new varsity basketball coach at East wanted to start his own camp. I was determined to keep our camp going somewhere else. Larry Gibson, a longtime friend and camp staff member, was a teacher and basketball coach at Richfield Elementary School. He wanted me to move our camp to Richfield. Mark and Ashley Honeycutt, who had helped sponsor our camp while owners of the Farmhouse Restaurant, wanted to have the camp at North Hills Christian School, where their young children attended school. So in 2002, the 9th annual camps became the Richfield Basketball Camp and the North Hills Basketball Camp. These names continued for two years. One of our goals has always been to attract campers from all area schools. After the 2003 camps, to be able to identify our camps from others, no matter the location, a decision was made to change the name of the camps. Therefore in 2004, the 11th Annual Hoops Unlimited Basketball Camps began at each site! The camp has remained at Richfield Elementary School beginning with 2002. The camp moved from North Hills to Erwin Middle School in 2009, due to work being done on the gym at North Hills. This year camp is returning to East Rowan High School- where everything started! One of the “missions” of our camp has always been to keep the camp price affordable to as many people as possible. One of the ways we have done this is to seek sponsors to help defray the costs of camp. The Farmhouse Restaurant helped sponsor the camps at East Rowan from 1995-99. Wendy’s in Richfield has been sponsoring the Richfield camps since 2004. Farrington Family Medical Center helped sponsor camp in 2007 at North Hills. Mid-Carolina Cardiology helped sponsor the camp at North Hills and at Erwin from 2008-09. Wendy’s on East Innes Street in Salisbury is helping sponsor this year’s camp at East Rowan. We know the economy is hard on so many people. Even though so many costs have risen over the years- especially the cost of the meals- we have not raised the price of camp in 11 years. When this camp started in 1994, I had no idea it would still be going on today. The first week of camp at Richfield in June will mark the 56th week of camp over the past 17 years- over a year! I have always said I would keep having the camp until it was not fun anymore. That has not happened yet! The group of “kids” that attended the first camps in 1994 are over 30 years old! Many of the people on our current staff attended camp in the past. I am very proud of the enthusiasm of our staff throughout the years. They have a real love of the game and enjoy sharing it with the young boys and girls who attend camp. We have never wanted to limit the camp to one or two schools. Last years camps attracted campers from 47 schools. I have always said that when we started our camp we did not want to be just a baby sitter to our campers. We wanted to teach them as many skills as possible in the four days of camp and see how much they could improve. We wanted them to have a quality meal each day as a part of the camp experience. We wanted them to get a great deal of “game time” during each day of camp. When they were picked up at the end of each day of camp, we wanted to make sure they were “worn out” from activities during the day. But the #1 goal of camp throughout the years has been to HAVE FUN! If that has taken place then our camp has been very successful over the years!