LA CRESCENTA — About an hour before the customary shooting, rebounding and passing drills were set to begin, a series of agility exercises were conducted.
Nearly 75 participants who attended the 13th rendition of the Coach Z Basketball Camp, organized by Crescenta Valley boys' basketball coach Shawn Zargarian, were put through quite a workout. Formed in multiple lines, each camper completed the conditioning drills that centered around proper footwork while working up a sweat inside the Crescenta Valley gymnasium.
“You could easily just start the camp doing the basic drills, but we see it more as getting warmed up and doing the conditioning exercises,” said Zargarian, a former All-Area Boys’ Basketball Coach of the Year. “By the time the camp ends, they’ll have felt the soreness and fatigue.
“Basketball can be a very physical and demanding sport and we try to give them that idea here. Then they can do the regular drills. I think you see a big difference at the end of the week.”
The camp began Monday and finished Friday, allowing the participants time to grasp the fundamentals from Zargarian and his group of assistants.
The camp was geared for boys and girls ages 5-14 and attracted participants from La Crescenta and Glendale. In addition to the drills, pick-up contests are conducted and the campers are evaluated.
“You like to see them engaged and learning about different things,” said Zargarian, who led Crescenta Valley to a playoff appearance after the Falcons took third in the Pacific League last season. “We check in with them at every drill station and we go over different things. We make sure they are doing the drills properly and we give them advice as best we can.
“Then they are ready to go while playing at the different competition levels they are at right now. You just want to see improvement by the time the camp ends.”
Lucia Arzoumanian 12, made her fifth camp appearance.
“I play a lot of basketball against older players,” said Arzoumanian, a La Crescenta resident who attends Rosemont Middle School. “You find a way to get more prepared mentally so that you can keep up with them.
“And you are always trying to improve in all of the drills. I get the chance at this camp do do all of those things.”
Parker Ray, a La Crescenta resident who attends La Crescenta Elementary School, made his inaugural camp visit.