Basketball camp gets kids off the bench

By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Hebron - posted Mon., Jul. 30, 2012
Coach Steve Emt confers with some of the participants in the 'Biddy' camp on July 16 at RHAM Middle School.  Photos by Melanie Savage.
Coach Steve Emt confers with some of the participants in the 'Biddy' camp on July 16 at RHAM Middle School. Photos by Melanie Savage.

RHAM teacher and coach Steve Emt has always loved basketball. “A lot of stuff I do in my camps is stuff I would do as a kid,” said Emt on July 16, at a break during his Shooting Stars Basketball “Biddy” Camp at RHAM Middle School. Growing up in Hebron in a somewhat remote area, Emt would practice on his driveway with his dad and brother. “I would draw chalk lines for jumping, develop my own conditioning exercises,” said Emt. Emt grew to become the all-time high scorer for RHAM basketball, and has served as the school’s varsity coach for decades despite his confinement to a wheelchair due to an auto accident when he was in his 20s.

On July 16, EMT had his campers, ages 5 through 7, working on the basics. They competed against each other in scrimmages and participated in conditioning games such as “Builders and Bulldozers,” where one team knocks down a series of cones while the opposing team scrambles to right them. “We work on footwork, learning not to double dribble,” said Emt. “No shooting, that’s too much for these guys.” At the “Biddy” level, said Emt, the goal is to “exercise, get off the couch, and have fun.” Emt will coach a second session of “Biddy” ball at the end of July. He added the second session a couple of years ago due to demand.

At his camps for older kids (ages 8 through 14), held earlier this summer, “our numbers were through the roof,” said Emt. Forty-eight girls and 82 boys attended those sessions, which build upon the skills learned at the lower level. “We’ll work on defense, moves, conditioning,” said Emt, who attributes the heightened interest in the camps to the success realized this year by the RHAM basketball teams. The varsity boys’ team finished number 16 out of 45 in Class L this year, knocked out in the first round of the state tourney by a one-point loss. The JV team also experienced a successful season. But more importantly, “every home game the stands were loaded,” said EMT. “The town really supported us. That’s really important to me. This is my community.”

Emt will coach a second session of Shooting Stars Basketball Camp for ages 5 to 7 (co-ed) from July 30 through Aug. 3, from 9 to 11:30 a.m., in the RHAM Middle School gym ($85 residents, $100 non-residents). You can show up at the gym, or contact Hebron Parks and Rec. at 860-530-1281 for more information.

On Monday, July 30, from 2 to 5 p.m. there will be an All Pro Sports basketball clinic hosted by former UConn player Jeremy Lamb ($40). Register online at or call 860-292-6311 for more information.

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