Columbus High boys basketball coach Jordan Hitchcock and other area coaches are excited to welcome players to the third edition of the Skilled Hoops Academy set to begin Monday at CHS.
The academy is for fifth through 12th graders of any level and is held Monday and Wednesday nights. Training focuses on learning and mastering the fundamentals in order to create a growth mindset. Those fundamentals are put to the test in competition and through homework handed out to complete between sessions.
The cost for the academy is $90 and includes three weeks, or six sessions. Those unable to attend all six sessions can purchase a day pass for $15. Each night lasts from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Hitchcock held the first academy last April then hosted another this summer. Legendary Columbus High coach Jack Johnson is back to offer instruction as well. Clarkson/Leigh boys coach Jeff Bachman and Lakeview boys coach Tyler Colvin are also involved.
"It will be a lot of the same things we've done in the past with the exception of not waiting on competition until Wednesday," Hitchcock said. "We've found out that it works better to do a little bit of both each day, especially for our younger players. Paying attention and getting detailed on working on their shot and fundamentals can be cognitive overload. Mixing in some game playing, I think they leave with a better taste in their mouth after both nights."
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Through the academy, Hitchcock said the next phase is to bring players together on teams and practice for AAU and other tournaments in Lincoln and Omaha in the spring and summer.
As that idea develops, there will likely be a try out in March and assistance needed by local coaches to help put together rosters for fifth through eighth grade.
Those interested in signing up for the full academy or purchasing a day pass can see the academy website at skilledhoops.com. There's a tab in the upper right corner for the skilled hoops academy to sign up.
"The kids that have come consistently and gone home and done the work we've asked them to do, it's been really cool to see their progress," Hitchcock said. "Through each of the sessions, we've seen kids from five different high schools. Every year you tweak things a little bit, but it's something we'll consistently do."
Nate Tenopir is the sports editor of The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.