Mantooth continues tradition

Published 1:40 pm Friday, June 7, 2013

One of the cornerstones of summer activities for hoops enthusiasts in the Camellia City has come and gone, but not before making a lasting impression on its participants.

The 20th annual Fort Dale Academy Basketball Camp was held this past Monday through Thursday, helmed by FDA head basketball coach Reggie Mantooth.

The camp was open to boys ages 6-17.

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Mantooth said that even though the camp is meant to be a fun experience first and foremost, it is equally important to instill the most basic elements of the game to the experienced and inexperienced camp participants alike.

“We teach fundamentals while also allowing a lot of games and contest for the younger kids,” Mantooth said.

“The kids enjoy games like hot shot, dribble tag, free throws and gotcha.”

Mantooth admitted that it’s difficult to believe he’s been running the FDA camp for so long, although two full decades have passed since it all began.

In that time, the camp has developed a reputation that has only increased the number of its participants.

But according to Mantooth, some things never change.

“I think we had 14 campers at the first one we did, but we had 53 campers this year,” Mantooth said.

“We have had some kids that went to camp their whole 12 years at FDA.  I also have kids in camp now that I coached their parents.  Camp has been something that I always looked forward to in the summer, and I think our kids do also.”

But regardless of how many years inevitably pass by, Mantooth’s lesson to his students is as enduring as ever.

It’s about respecting other players as well as the game.

“I want the kids to learn a little about basketball, but ultimately to have fun playing the game of basketball and to enjoy the camp.”