Bostwick resident heads youth basketball camp
By Jonathan Branch
One Morgan County resident has been around the world, traveling as a professional basketball player, and now plans to bring that knowledge to local youth.
Jeff VanDeMark, as part of his venture Pinnacle Sports Academy (PSA), will conduct a three-day basketball camp for girls and boys in grades six through 12 from 9 a.m. to noon at Cedar Shoals High School July 25-27.
“I’m trying to bring in some high-level stuff and give folks a good value,” said VanDeMark, who played professionally overseas in Taiwan, Wales, Germany, Hungary, Austria, Guatemala and Belize.
The camp will focus on pure individual skill development, said VanDeMark, who hopes the instruction will teach campers drills they can do at home, and by integrating team concepts, give them something they can take back to their respective team or club.
“It doesn’t matter how small or big you are, or what gender you are, [the camp] is about individual skill development,” said VanDeMark. “We want to provide drill-oriented concepts that they can also do at home.”
The first day of the camp will focus on defense, while the second day will be centered around passing and rebounding.
To help instruct, VanDeMark has called upon Rick Torbett to provide a three-hour shooting clinic Friday. Torbett, founder and lead basketball instructor for the Better Basketball DVDs, has worked with NBA veterans Mike Bibby and J.J. Redick on their shooting technique.
VanDeMark began his basketball career at Western Carolina, where he played for three seasons before finishing his college career at Bryan College, an NAIA school in Chattanooga, Tenn. After college, VanDeMark served as the VP of Basketball Development for Wales, U.K, and he started and directed two AAU programs in Ray County, Tennessee while serving as assistant head basketball coach at Bryan College for two seasons.
A father of nine, VanDeMark moved with his family to Bostwick in 2007 from Columbia, South Carolina. Now, he is trying to use his experience coaching and playing overseas to develop basketball talent in the greater-Athens area.
“I tell you what I saw overseas that opened my eyes to skill development,” said VanDeMark. “They don’t pigeonhole anyone [overseas]. Here, if you are taller than everyone, you learn to play the post. What I saw overseas were players that are highly skilled and are not pigeonholed. That’s one thing I try to instill in players that I coach and in these camps, especially at the middle school level.”
The cost to register for PSA’s basketball camp is $95. To register for Thursday and Friday only, cost is $75. For the final day, Torbett’s shooting clinic, the cost to register is just $50. Registration is open throughout the week.
If interested in registering for the camp, e-mail Jeff VanDeMark at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on Rick Torbett and his Better Basketball program, visit betterbasketball.com.
Printed in the July 26, 2012 edition.