Basketball camp in the Caribbean to take on Ohio flavor


“Teach One, Reach One – Building Bridges to Success” charity basketball camp

For two weeks in August, Dave Shoemaker will be joined by several former and current basketball coaches from southern Ohio.  Together, they will be off to the Caribbean island of St. Kitts to work the “Teach One, Reach One – Building Bridges to Success” charity basketball camp. Shoemaker has been selected as camp director and has gathered a cast that will definitely give this charity event an Ohio influence.

For two weeks during the month of August, Dave Shoemaker will be joined by several former and current basketball coaches from southern Ohio.  Together, they will be off to the Caribbean island of St. Kitts to work the “Teach One, Reach One – Building Bridges to Success” charity basketball camp. Shoemaker has been selected as camp director and has had the opportunity to gather some area coaches that will definitely give this charity event some Ohio flavor.

“My coaching staff and I are very much looking forward to arriving in August for the St. Kitts Basketball Camp,” said Shoemaker in his blog at  “The camp will not only provide insight and knowledge into the game of basketball, but will also provide life skills that the campers can carry into the future. The camp is sure to be a rewarding experience for both campers and coaches alike.”

Shoemaker is more than deserving of this opportunity.  For well over two decades, he has coached and administered various sports for student-athletes ranging from age nine to the collegiate level. Shoemaker is best known in southern Ohio for his time at Bainbridge Paint Valley when he coached the Bearcats to the schools only league title in the past forty-plus years in 1993, but he has also had experience directing college camps at Ohio University, Maryland and Cincinnati, plus has spent time training and coaching several AAU athletes both here in the United States as well as around the world.

The most intriguing part for Shoemaker is the fact that he gets the opportunity to include so many local coaches in this experience. These coaches will get the opportunity to work with kids outside the United States. The camp – that is scheduled to be two sessions per day, with the early morning being for ages six through 15 and the afternoon session for ages 16-22 – is likely to consist of a combined 250 kids, including some of the top amateur talent in all of England.

The group from Ohio will join former NBA and WNBA players, as well as various college coaches, including several D-I staff members and small college coaches, that will be certain to be taking a look at some of the older international talent.  The Ohio coaches making the trip are:  John Jones, Sam Toppins, Josh Anderson, Josh Younge, Blake Rinehart, Russ Breech, and Jerrod Haines. This group is made up of guys that have played and coached in various programs throughout the Southern Hills League, the Scioto Valley Conference, and the Southeastern Ohio Conference.  These coaches all have a connection with Shoemaker in some way and the camp director is confident that he has a perfect mix of coaches to have a successful camp.

This staff is made up of coaches that once played for Shoemaker or coaches that have worked with him at various camps or other events. Shoemaker will also be joined by friend Mark Younge who will be assisting in many of the camp’s daily operations, as well as, Highland County’s Eric Dick who will serve as the camp’s trainer.

“We have hand-picked a quality and knowledgeable coaching staff who are extremely excited about going to the island of St. Kitts,” Shoemaker said. “These coaches were chosen for their wide-ranging skills and variety of experiences, as well as for their ability to teach the type of basketball skills needed to exceed at the collegiate level. I have worked with each of these coaches, and I can promise that they will bring an unparalleled enthusiasm, commitment and dedication to our camp.”

One of the camp’s top highlights will definitely have an Ohio touch when Billy Hahn joins the camp staff for a four-day visit. Many Ohio basketball fans will remember Hahn and his time during the decade of the eighties at Ohio University. Hahn served as Danny Nee’s assistant from 1980-1985 and then took over the program as the head coach from 1986-1989. When coach Hahn left Ohio, he headed back to his alma mater at Maryland University – where Hahn played his college ball from 1971-1975 – to take the Associate Head Coach position under former Ohio State and current Maryland head coach Gary Williams.  During this stint with the Terps, Hahn became one of the nation’s top recruiters.  All told, Hahn has recruited 20 future NBA players – including three lottery picks (Steve Francis, Walt Williams, and Joe Smith) – and was responsible for bringing several of the key pieces to Maryland’s 2002 NCAA national championship team.  Still today, Hahn continues to link himself to a piece of Ohio basketball has he recently joined the staff of former Cincinnati legend and current West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins to help lead the Mountaineers. 

“He has such a great passion for all aspects of life in general,” said Shoemaker when asked about Hahn. “Billy and I have a great friendship. He is fun to be around and I know the kids and coaches will really enjoy hearing him speak at camp.”

Former and current Ohio coaches that have had the chance at Ohio University, the annual coaching clinics in the Tri-State area, or other various events to hear Hahn speak, truly understand how passionate he is about the game of basketball and young people in general. In fact, it was through Ohio University basketball camp that Shoemaker first met Hahn and immediately took a liking to his style and enthusiasm. The friendship remains nearly three decades later.

When Hahn moved out east, Shoemaker continued to take kids to his camps. He began working and eventually helping direct some summer camps at Maryland University.  Ironically, it was his time at Maryland where he met some international coaches, including Greek national coach, Paul Coughter. Shoemaker had a chance to help train and eventually coach the national team from Montserrat.  It was during this time, he came in contact with Beresford Mack. Mack, a native of the Caribbean, and a one-time player for Montserrat, now resides in England.  This would be the start of a friendship between Shoemaker and Mack that would eventually lead to the launching of the St. Kitts Basketball Camp.

“Coach Mack has really been inspired to make this camp happen,” Shoemaker said. “We have talked about it for several years now, but my commitments with coaching and working as athletic director has never really allowed me the time to direct a camp like this.”

Like any basketball camp, all the fundamentals of the game will be stressed in every drill throughout every station, contest, and game; however, Shoemaker feels like this camp could be the start of something special that affects not only the basketball skills of the young people involved, but their people skills as well.

“This first year is going to be a wait-and-see approach,” Shoemaker said. “Our goal is to make this an every year thing.  I feel this is a unique opportunity, which is going to allow everyone lucky enough to be a part of it, a chance to really grow as a person.” 

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