Celebrating its tenth year, the Ohio Girls Basketball Report Skills Camp is designed
ninth grade girls
talent under the direction of
players and current and former professional
We were on hand for the camp Monday and have more.
GRANVILLE, Ohio – The back of the official staff t-shirt at
the Ohio Girls Basketball Report Skills Camp probably sums it up best.
The shirt reads, “It All Starts Here” – and – “Competition
· Motivation · Exposure”.
Celebrating its tenth year, the OGBR Skills Camp is
designed to showcase
eighth and ninth grade
girls basketball talent
under the direction of
high school coaches, high school players and current and former professional
The Skills Camp, hosted at
is spearheaded by OGBR Director Tom Jenkins and welcomed over 300 players this
Skills Camp has gained its
reputation as the best of its kind because of one reason and one reason only:
the working staff,” said Jenkins. “(The players) know they will not get cheated
Colerain senior guard and Xavier recruit Ashley Wanninger
attended the camp in middle school and is in her second summer coaching
“It is a hard camp. I remember going through it and being
so physically drained,” said Wanninger, who was the Greater Miami Conference
co-leader in scoring last season with 15.8 points per game earning first-team
conference recognition. “But it is awesome. It is tiring and it is definitely
something you have to get used to throughout the years.”
Wanninger worked her way up and is now passing on the
skills she learned to the players that now look up to her.
“This camp helped me out a tremendous amount,” she said.
“Tom (Jenkins) does a great job of getting everyone together here and having the
“For the kids, it’s all mental. So far, all these kids look
mentally drained. It is the enthusiasm of the coaches that is helping the kids
get through it.”
With over three dozen coaches on hand, that enthusiasm and
motivation practically pours out of the gym.
Dayton Dunbar coach Pete Pullen has most recently
experienced success coaching the Wolverine boys to the Division II state title
in 2006 and is in his seventh summer coaching at the Skills Camp.
“I think it is a great camp. It is good for the kids
getting the experience and coming out to work on their skills and different
parts of their game,” said Pullen. “Hopefully, they can take something from this
when they leave – something they can work on to improve themselves.”
Prior to taking over
boys squad in 2005, Pullen led the Lady Wolverines for six seasons tallying a
109-29 record and six undefeated Dayton City League titles.
“I haven’t gotten back (into girls basketball) but I do
enjoy working with the girls,” he said. “The game has changed since I have been
out of coaching girls. There are more players and more skill players and it is
just great for the game.
“I think girls are taking (basketball) a little more
serious than when I was coaching. At the time I got into it, there were just one
or two select players but now you have a multitude of talent and more talented
players. So, the popularity of the game, work ethic and skill has really
developed with kids that are coming out at a younger age.”
As a result, players like Wanninger are fine tuning their
skills to become college prospects.
Enter the exposure aspect of the camp.
This summer’s camp hosted over 100 college coaches – both
head coaches and assistants – from every major conference in the country from
the East Coast to the West Coast and everywhere in between.
Jamelle Elliott was named
trip to the camp as a head coach.
“I just finished my first month on the job and my goal for
the recruiting aspect is to try to keep the talent in the state,” said the
former UConn forward and longtime Huskies assistant. “The staff’s goal during
this July evaluation period is to make sure we identify the players worth a
scholarship in the state of
“My main goal is
and the surrounding states and what better tournament to be at than this one
where everything is in a one-stop situation. Tom has done a great job putting
this together and this event has the best young kids in the state. I don’t think
there is a better tournament to start off July than Tom’s event.”
The Skills Camp has also been an opportunity for Elliott to
put some faces to the names of
high school coaches she has been in contact with since taking over the Bearcats
“My first couple of weeks on the job I made a bunch of
phone calls to the who’s-who in
just wanted to reach out to them and let them know that
will be an option for some of the area kids, which wasn’t the case in the past,”
said Elliott, who had her hand in six NCAA National Championships while at UConn.
“So far, AAU and high school coaches have been very
receptive to me, my goals and my focus on their particular kids in the state.
Every coach I have been in contact with has been great and willing to help me in
any way that they can within the rules.”
And coming from a program like UConn that gets the nation’s
top talent year-in and year-out, it is easy for Elliott to spot
“It amazes how players that are 13, 14 and 15 years old are
able to play the game of basketball the way they are as far as skills,
athleticism and just the knowledge of the game,” she said. “I think it is great
for women’s basketball seeing that these players are taking the sport a lot more
serious at such an early age.”
Players like Wanninger, who got their start at the OGBR
“It’s great,” she said. “It is just a great experience