The Merrill basketball program received a rare treat on Thursday when former Wisconsin Badger Basketball standout Brian Butch showed up at MHS, to host one of just four annual basketball camps around the state.
As Butch explains, the camps are designed to focus on skill fundamentals.
“To be a good basketball player, you have to be sound in everything you do,” he noted. “Some kids just want to play and play and that is great. But there is a fine line between playing and skill development; to be a good player you have to be fundamentally sound.”
Examples of skills campers worked on Thursday include footwork drills and proper shot form.
Butch cites a sincere love for the game and a desire to give back as his motivation in the camps.
“Camps like these really played a huge role in my own development as a basketball player. Now it’s time for for me to do the same for other young athletes.” he said. “I have had some great experiences in basketball, won some games and so on, but now it’s time for me to give back to the game and help the next generation, and next group of kids. I’ve been very fortunate, and it’s time for other kids to experience such great memories like I have.”
According to varsity head coach Ross Reinke, standard fee for the camp is $50 per camper, however this year’s camp was funded completely by the Basketball Booster Club.
“I can’t say enough how appreciative we are, and the girls are, for Brian as well as the generosity of the booster club,” he said. “Camps like this do so much for us as a team. These camps also teach concepts the girls can take home to their driveways, and bring into the gym.”