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Hoops drills on display
Basketball NWT hosts annual summer development camp

James McCarthy
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, July 13, 2011

SOMBA K'E/YELLOWKNIFE - Dave Waknuk knows a lot about basketball in Yellowknife and he was back again to give his expertise to a new crop of players.

NNSL photo/graphic

Narlie Dapilos looks to go around the block of Kadee St. Croix during a one-on-one drill at the Basketball NWT summer camp at Weledeh Catholic School gymnasium on July 9. - James McCarthy/NNSL photo

Waknuk, the head coach of the women's basketball program at Grande Prairie Regional College, was the facilitator for Basketball NWT's summer player development camp at Weledeh gymnasium on July 8 and 9. It's the third time Waknuk has travelled up from his home base in Alberta to run a camp in Yellowknife and he enlisted the help of a familiar face to most sports fans in Yellowknife in the form of Chelsea Comeau, a former Lady Bolts and Team NWT star who now plays at the college under Waknuk.

Waknuk said having been here the past two years prior, he tried to mix things up a bit so as not to have a huge amount of repetition.

"We always want to do something different and something new every time we do this," he said. "We always want to incorporate so much more stuff and we get different kids in so we want to try and bring in some new stuff and we're always adding to what we bring up here to share some of that knowledge with everyone up here."

Some of what Waknuk focused on was various shooting drills, such as coming off a screen, opposite-hand dribbling and one-on-one play. A majority of the kids who attended the camp will be representing Team NWT in some form either through the Western Canada Summer Games or the National U-17 Championships, both happening next month.

Waknuk did see some of the players at this past camp in camps prior, but there were some new faces in the mix this year and he said the new kids were doing just as well as the ones he's seen before.

"I remember seeing some at the junior camp from last year and they've improved a lot," he said. "Narlie (Dapilos) is one I've seen over the past couple of years and he's really getting up there. His game is really coming along and it's really nice to see these kids progress and grow and that's all down to having good fundamentals and structure. You can really see them getting better."

Dapilos attended the camp this year in order to get some extra practice in as he prepares to join Team NWT at the National U-17 Championships in Toronto next month.

He said the drills may be different from what he's seen, but the idea is all the same developing skills.

"It's giving us different tools and working on fundamentals and other important things," he said.

Dapilos did admit he has done some of what Waknuk taught, but he said the way it was delivered was new to him.

"It's good to have the repetition and keeping it all in my head and keeping me focused on that," he said.

Waknuk is on the lookout for another Chelsea Comeau-type player to come out of Yellowknife and he told the kids just that over the course of the weekend.

"There's definitely those types of kids here and it's an option for them," he said. "Chelsea managed to help us win a championship this year (Alberta Colleges title) and there's great talent here."

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