By Mickey Winfield, PNT Staff Writer
Hundreds of area high school basketball players and dozens of teams are competing over a two-week period at Greyhound Arena.
The annual Greyhound team basketball camp began on Sunday and will conclude today by noon, while the girls begin on Wednesday and leave Saturday.
According to some of the players, coaches and Greyhound basketball coach Shawn Scanlan, this camp benefits everybody involved.
“Obviously having the kids here gives us a chance to evaluate a lot of players on our own floor,” Scanlan said. “As far as the University is concerned, all of these kids are prospective future students. With the 90 teams we’re going to have here over a two-week period, with an average of 10 to 12 players per team, that’s anywhere from 900 to 1,000 kids we’ll have on our campus for three days. These kids are staying at our dorms, they’re eating at our cafeteria, they’re on our campus, they’re in our arena and they’re in our town for three days. So we’re getting a three-day recruiting trip out of 900 to 1,000 prospective students.”
Boys teams from across New Mexico and west Texas began pool play Sunday night, and continued pool play through Tuesday afternoon, while tournament bracket play commenced Tuesday night and will conclude today at noon.
“It’s an opportunity for them to play in a game-time situation and find out, along with their coaches just to kind of realize where they are,” Scanlan said. “It’s the first opportunity for next year’s team to play together. Because what you’re seeing right here are next year’s teams.”
While it’s usually an enjoyable couple of days for the high schoolers, it’s also quite grueling, as each team is guaranteed 15 or 16 games over the three day camp.
“All of these teams get better,” Scanlan said. “And they learn a lot about themselves.”
Portales High basketball coach Mark Gallegos’ Rams played seven games Monday, and they’re also assured of at least 15 games over the three-day tourney.
“The kids look forward to this,” Gallegos said. “You play 16 games and it’s mentally and physically challenging but you learn a lot about yourself.”
One of the more athletic teams, according to Gallegos and Scanlan is Amarillo Tascosa.
“We’re bonding as a team together,” Tascosa junior Demetires Ryan said. “We get to play a lot of games together.”
Tascosa won its district championship last season before getting ousted in the first round of the playoffs.
“We’re getting to play a lot together before the season starts,” senior Oliver London said.