During the first two days of the Coolanu Israel Basketball Camp in Chicago, campers focused on honing their dribbling and shooting skills.
Tamir’s dribbling tip: A player should dribble the ball for a specific purpose—to advance the offense and the team’s goals. The proper dribbling stance—low to the ground with knees bent and head and eyes up—allows a player to protect the ball and to be agile and quick, while remaining aware of what the others players on the court are doing. Tamir explains that as we celebrate Chanukah, this dribbling stance offers Jewish athletes a metaphor for life: staying low to the ground represents the strong base of the chanukiyah that we light each night. This strong base reminds us that as we face different circumstances each day we should stay connected to our roots—our Jewish identity, Israel and the Jewish people. The heads up position correlates to the candles that we kindle each night. The candles and their light which illuminates the darkness, reminds us to be cognizant of opportunities to reach our potential and to help those around us reach theirs, and together add light and goodness to the world through our unique talents and missions.
Tamir’s shooting tip: Even before you catch the ball to shoot, your hands and feet need to be in shooting position for you to be able to get the shot off quickly. Just like a player needs to be prepared to shoot in order to have a successful shot, this teaches us the value of being prepared both on the court and in life. Mentally prepare yourself for different scenarios and possible challenges that may arise so you will be able to react properly and productively wherever you are.
Guest Speakers: Campers were treated to a fascinating presentation by special guest speaker Missy Isaacson—a leading columnist for ESPNChicago.com and former sportswriter for the Chicago Tribune. Missy shared her experience as a reporter who covered Michael Jordan and the Bulls during the superstar and the team’s prime years. She also relayed her unique experience of being a pioneer as one of the first female sports writers in the industry. Missy shared her expertise with campers as she led them through a fun exercise in which campers had the chance to act as reporters by putting together sports news clips. Campers enjoyed hearing Missy’s pointers on making the clip come alive through words for people who did not witness the event first hand.
All in all, camp is going great!