5 Takeaways from 2016’s OC Rain Basketball Camp

OC Rain Basketball | kids basketball training

Hi everyone, this is Ellie with OC Rain Basketball.

As a lover of basketball and little kids, I was really looking forward to a week full of fun. And I wasn’t disappointed. Kids were cheering, improving their basketball skills, getting along with each other, listening to the coaches, playing games, smiling for the camera. It was a fun time and it was even more fun to watch. Here are my 5 takeaways from this year’s OC Rain Summer Basketball Camp.

1. You don’t have to be tall to play basketball

When I was in middle school, we played basketball in PE. And since I watched a lot of basketball being the avid Laker fan I was, I knew what to do, what the rules are, what not to do, etc. Anyway, my PE teacher was watching me play and afterward, she pulled me aside and asked me what sport I was going to play in high school. And I simply replied with volleyball because I’d been playing since elementary and I was already planning to try out for the frosh-soph team.

“Have you ever considered basketball?” She asks me. “You have good court sense.”

And at that point, I didn’t even know what that meant, but the fact that SHE thought I was good at basketball meant a lot because I don’t really consider myself an athletic person. Neither am I tall. I am currently 5’1 and a half. My mom thinks that I can squeak out another millimeter if I get more sleep, but that isn’t going to happen, so I never really considered basketball. So middle school me decided, maybe basketball is my calling and not volleyball.

“Dad, can I play basketball and go to the El Toro Girls’ Basketball Camp next week?”

“No, Ellie. You’re too short.”


Dreams. Crushed.

Well, not exactly.

I mean I still love volleyball and I continued to play until my sophomore year, but school got in the way and I didn’t make JV. Sometimes I wonder what would’ve happened if I had tried basketball. And watching all of these kids half my height dribbling, shooting baskets, playing games, and doing drills made me think of how my dad had been wrong all this time. You don’t have to be tall to play basketball. Whether the kids were just there for exercise or they actually really want to play basketball in high school or even as a career (I know, parents, that’s a long stretch), they proved that height really doesn’t matter and that inspired me.

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2. Kids love free food and candy (and I love little kids)

It’s a Tuesday. I’m sitting at a table doing some administrative work when two girls come up to me and ask me what time it is.

“It’s 9:23.”

“When is lunchtime?”

“12:30.” I reply.

They leave talking about how hungry they are as I hold in my laughter. The kids loved the lunches MMT provided for us and I understand that it was definitely a highlight for some kids at the end of a long day of hard work and playing basketball.

Not even an hour later, another little girl walks up to me.

“Miss Ellie, when is lunchtime?”

My heart melted a little bit.

“12:30, sweetie.”

She politely says thank you and walks away. People, especially kids, love free food. Who doesn’t?

On Friday, the coaches organized a series of games. You play, you get candy. You win, you get candy. The best strategy for participation. Candy. The kids responded really well and it really helped us keep the kids motivated.

3. Competitive games = fun, fun, fun and improvement.

All week, I watched as kids screamed, fell down, laughed, smiled, and got back up again. There were lightning rounds, shooting games as to which team can shoot first, there were dribbling games and knocking other people’s balls out of the way, there was tagging people as they ran past you. It was just really fun to watch. And the kids listened to the coaches and used the skills they learned in each drill in these games. They improved, the coaches gave them positive feedback and awesome encouragement, and it really showed during games. I remember on Wednesday, there was a game. 3 coaches vs. about 30 little kids in between the ages of 5 and 12. It was very entertaining to watch and the kids pulled and worked together as one unit to defeat the coaches. Teaching kids about teamwork, hard work, skill, and improvement is a part of OC Rain’s mission and we hope you’d like to continue that mission with us. Here is a clip of the tagging game the kids really enjoyed.

4. Slam dunk contests are the bomb.com

On Tuesday, I notice all the kids gather on court 21. Basically they were sitting in front of where I was sitting and I was confused as to what was going on. Then, coach Joseph announces that a slam dunk contest is happening between all the coaches and to cheer the loudest for the coach they think is the best. I personally love slam dunk contests and the kids were so excited, cheering every few minutes. It was a very fun and happy environment and I was lucky enough to witness such an amazing highlight of this camp. Coaches were asked to even sign autographs after the entire camp was over. I lost most of my sharpies that day.

Here is a clip of the winner of the slam dunk contest: Coach Gooderman.

5. Kids like being on camera

All week, coach Joseph and myself social media’d it up with pictures and photos of the whole camp on Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook (follow us on Snapchat at ocrainbasketbal, and yes that is one “l.”) The kids were having a really great time and we wanted to show parents that and give them a little taste as to what OC Rain Basketball is really all about. Joseph also did a couple of Facebook lives, which I thought was really cool. The videos show exactly what we do at camp and how much fun the kids are having. They love posing for pictures and saying hi to the camera. See for yourself. My favorite picture is the one of two of the coaches and all of the kids “dabbing.”

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Overall, the camp was a pretty big success. Stephen Beseda and Joseph Martinez put together a great camp, the kids and the coaches had a lot of fun, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

If you’re interested in our next camp in August, click here. If you’re interested in joining one of our teams, click here. If you want to sign up for our Progressive Skills Academy, click here.

We hope your kids enjoyed this year’s OC Rain Basketball Summer Camp and are looking forward to seeing you in the future. Thanks! And don’t forget to follow our social media links from up above!


About The Author

Elenda Nguyen

I am a current student at UC Berkeley and am an intended business major with an emphasis on social media and marketing. I have a passion for basketball, singing, and YouTubers, and I am a brunch and dessert enthusiast.

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