Photo: Campers exercise during the Myah Taylor Elite Basketball Camp on Sunday at Hernando High School. (Bob Bakken / DeSoto County Sports)
When you’re a three-time Gatorade Mississippi Basketball Player of the Year and you’re waiting to be the starting point guard for the Mississippi State Women’s Basketball Team again, host a camp for the talented young girls. in basketball is generating a lot of interest.
That’s what happened on Sunday afternoon when Myah Taylor, from Olive Branch, hosted her very first Elite Basketball Camp at Hernando High School, where her high school coach Blake Jones was recently nominated for. become the head coach of the Lady Tigers program.
The HHS Basketball Booster Club was able to sell concessions during the day to fundraise for the club, as well as support the afternoon event inside the Theron Long Gymnasium.
About a hundred players, some from as far away as Arkansas and Alabama, took the floor to learn and showcase their skills in front of no less than 15 varsity coaches, mainly from the ranks of junior colleges, but also from junior colleges. divisions II and III. programs.
At the same time, they were monitored by staff including Leslie Toole of Delta Report’s Scouting Services, a 30-year veteran of observing and assessing basketball talent, information that can be passed on to coaches. academics. At the end of the camp, each player would receive an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of their game to improve in the future.
The Vicksburg-based service covers the Deep South, specifically Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, eastern Arkansas, and the Memphis metro area.
The day involved teaching skills, including agility and strength training, and some pickup play actions before a selected group of players took part in an all-star game to end the afternoon.
Taylor said she was thrilled to be able to host a camp like the one that happened on Sunday as a way to give back to the community.
“I am able to give back to the community and the surrounding area, and to be able to provide the resources that maybe not everyone had access to,” Taylor said. “It’s a start. I want to move something here. The support I get from the community is just great.
Taylor was grateful and impressed with the turnout, saying, “I would really love to keep this going. “
Toole said he wanted the girls to remember certain specific things of the day.
“One of the most important things we try to get them to understand is to understand the pace of the game and what coaches are looking for when they are supervising the kids,” Toole said. “The biggest things college coaches want to see is high energy and they want to see effort in defense. “
Watching 100 girls for an afternoon of activity and then reporting back to them can be a “trick,” Toole said, but added that his experience gives him the opportunity to do so.
“There are key things you look for in every child based on their grade level. From the eighth grade, I look for a certain level of activity. With the 11th and 12th grade students, I’m looking for the possibility of using what we call OTB skills, or offside skills. This is where they can pass and make decisions while dribbling the basketball.
Asked about Mississippi State women’s basketball this season, Taylor said fans should “be on the lookout for the Bulldogs.”
“It’s the chemistry that we already share,” Taylor said. “Just with all the new players able to develop that chemistry over the summer, I think we’ve done it. We just need to put the pieces together, let the new girls learn the new system, and then freeze everything. “
Taylor, a senior red shirt, started 19 games last season for the Bulldogs under Nikki McCray-Penson, averaged just under 10 points per game and shot 40 percent from beyond the arc. She was also a team manager for assists (78), steals (31) and three runs (28).
After a year of learning his expectations from McCray-Penson, Taylor expects to take on a stronger leadership role on the field for the Bulldogs.
“I think we’ve already developed that chemistry and that relationship,” Taylor said. “I think going into her second year will be even better between her and me on the floor.”