TCU players visit future Lady Elks
This week 50 incoming first- through ninth-graders have been learning how to play basketball the Lady Elk way.
“Last year, we had 62 campers,” Burleson girls basketball coach Curtis Enis said. “There are some other things going around in town that have cost us a few kids. I’m really pleased with the talent I’ve seen in the incoming 6th 7th, 8th and 9th graders. We have most of our next years middle schoolers at camp. Those are the players were really want at this camp.”
Tuesday morning the campers were treated to a visit by TCU women’s basketball players A.J. Alix and Amy Okonkwo. Alix is a five-foot-six guard from Houston Bellaire High School while Okonkwo is a 6-2 forward from Fontana, California who transferred to TCU from USC.
TCU women’s basketball coach Raegan Pebley called Curtis Enis and asked he were interested in any of their players coming to speak to the camper.
“I said ‘Shoot yeah, we’d love to have them,’” Curtis Enis said. “We had probably about six players go to TCU women’s basketball games last season for Lady Elk night. We saw them play Oklahoma, Texas and Baylor. We are going to definitely try and go see more games next season.”
After Allix and Okonkwo talked about what it takes to become a college athlete, they answered questions from the campers. Both said their favorite NBA player was Kobe Bryant and Alix added she liked former NBA star Charles Barkley also.
They were each asked to demonstrate their favorite moves. Okonkwo showed her post move and Allik flashed a behind the back dribble she said took her seven years to perfect.
The duo then signed autographs and took photos with the players.
The visit gave the campers a break before getting back to learning more about basketball.
The incoming first- through fifth-grader campers worked on their skills in the small gym under the direction of freshman head coach Rhonda Enis.
“The younger ones are learning the fundamentals and basics of the game,” Curtis Enis said. “They go to the other gym and play on the low-goals and slow things down a bit. Plus that allows us to go a little faster with older ones in the main gym.”
Curtis Enis said Hughes Middle School eighth-grade girls basketball coach Kathy King has prepared the incoming freshman for the transition to high school basketball.
“They look really good,” Curtis Enis said. “I told coach King that she is doing a really good job because the fundamentals of the incoming freshman are sound and they understand our terminology. They are picking things up quickly, because they already know a lot of the things we are showing them.”
The seventh- and eighth-grade classes also intrigue Curtis Enis because there is some size and good ball handlers in those classes.
“They adjusted to our drills fast,” Curtis Enis said. “We were able to do stuff on the first day with the older players that we haven’t been able to do that early in previous camps.”
Beyond the camp, there have been some changes made in the Lady Elks’ coaching staff Curtis Enis said. Those changes he said have made the staff is stronger.
The current players in the program have been going through summer conditioning and other tasks this summer to get ready for the 2016-17 season in District 9-5A and Region II.
“I’m really pleased with how hard our kids are working this summer getting ready for next season,” Curtis Enis said. “I don’t know if that is going to mean more wins but I think we will be a whole lot more competitive.”