Basketball camp offers transition training

Stephen Sweet - Special to the Examiner

Basketball does not have to end at the high-school level.

Many athletes are looking to play at the next stage, whether it be college or university.

And for those hoping to get a little boost to make that jump, the Next Level Basketball Camp is opening up shop this year to try and help players get there.

"It came about based on the experiences of myself and our directors," said Jeff Rosar, one of the many local individuals involved with the program.

"When we were in high school, we had to go to camps in Toronto and Hamilton," he added. "It was good, but we would have loved to have had a camp around here."

Some of the directors involved include Rosar, a former first-team Ontario University Athletics (OUA) all-star, Dan Eves, the 2005 OUA East Division player of the year, former University of Toronto captain Paul Zyla, and Brad Smith, who played professional basketball last year in Europe.

"We wanted to bring our skills and knowledge of the game to Barrie for a high school camp," Rosar said. "We have 30 years of university and pro experience combined."

There will be two programs running at the camp, which is set to take place the week of Aug. 8-12 at Georgian College.

A day program will take place for kids between the ages of 12 and 17, and an elite camp for 17- to 19-year-olds will run during the evenings.

Rosar says the night program will be geared toward players hoping to be recruited to play by universities.

During the elite camp, former university standouts will show hopefuls what that stage is like.

"We're going to take those boys through a two-and-a-half-hour university simulated practice every day," Rosar said. "Intensity-wise and IQ-wise, we want to get them to the next level."

They're getting their methods from a pretty good source.

"We're going to take the structure from Basketball Canada," Rosar said. "We were all a part of it, and we're going to develop the way the national team does.

"Fundamentals, team sessions, what to look for, how to grow IQ-wise as a basketball player, as well as working on specific skills and all angles to become a complete basketball player."

Rosar says Next Level will provide an opportunity for players that they haven't yet experienced.

"It's going to give the kids a side of basketball they've never seen," he said. "In high school, you don't work on systems until the senior program, but at university, everything's different.

"At the university level, everybody can jump out of the gym and shoot the ball."

The plan is to have a number of university coaches speak to the players, during which time there is a possibility that they might take a gander at who's doing what in the gym.

"At the day camps, they'll take a mental note of who to watch for in the future," Rosar said. "And for the elite camp, if they see a player they like, they'll contact him."

Rosar is hoping the clout that he and his fellow university stars carry might help Barrie's next generation get on the map.

"For the kids who haven't been recruited, we can lend our name to them," he said.

"This way, rather than just coming to university or college tryouts as a face in the crowd, the kid gets a phone call from one of us, who has the university connection with the coach."

For information on the program and how to sign up, e-mail camp directors at

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