By Kevin Wilson
It seems like yesterday, not years ago, that Portales coach Mark Gallegos saw campers like Cory Guy and Chris Carter at the Ram Basketball Fundamentals Camp.
Now, Guy has graduated and Carter is one of several former campers who are helping the coaching staff run the twice-a-day camp this week at Portales High School.
“It’s kind of like we’ve come full circle,” Gallegos said Wednesday, the third day of the annual camp. “It’s nice to see the kids come from the small camp up to the big camp.”
One such example is Bo Gabriel, a junior-to-be that once went to the camps. Now, he’s one of the many Ram players helping the kids along.
“I think I know how they feel sometimes,” said Gabriel. “The kids that aren’t very good right now, I can understand (them) because there were always better players than me (at the camps).”
Gabriel will make up a young nucleus for the 2003-04 Ram basketball squad, a team that Gallegos thinks will be better than advertised. Portales’ summer league varsity team went 7-0 in a tournament in Roswell, defeating host Roswell High for the title.
“The group that we have coming in is going to be really young, really inexperienced,” Gallegos said, “but people are going to see how well these kids play with each other.”
The camp is broken down into two segments. Boys entering grades 4-6 attend a morning session, while boys entering grades 7-9 learn in the afternoon. The camp runs through today.
Gallegos said the younger campers have come a long way fundamentally in the first two days of the camp. The same has been true for the older campers, but Gallegos said the afternoon session had another purpose. He said the freshmen at the camp are getting ready for summer league play.
Two junior varsity teams and one varsity team will play for Portales at the Eastern New Mexico University team camps, June 15-18.