Peninsula High senior Lilly Portteus organized and ran a youth basketball camp last week at the high school.
The best part? It was free. All the senior asked for was a donation to the Key Peninsula Food Bank.
“We were supposed to do a senior project but it got canceled this year,” Portteus said. “I still wanted to do one; I wanted to give back the community.”
Portteus worked with Principal Dave Goodwin to secure the gym from Monday through Thursday, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Despite having to switch the date of the camp once due to a scheduling conflict, it ran efficiently and 27 children attended the co-ed camp.
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“Having to switch the date was a struggle, but otherwise it went really smoothly,” Portteus said.
Goodwin was able to secure the gym for Portteus’ use free of charge to her, since it was a charity event. Parents filled out safety liability forms for their children.
Some of Portteus’ teammates from the girls basketball team assisted with the camp. The camp schedule started with warmups, fundamental drills and various stations. Then, the campers worked on defense one day, offense the next, and worked on putting it all together during the final days. The last hour of each camp day was devoted to scrimmaging.
“They were all just such high-energy kids,” Portteus said. “They’d come up with a team name and a team cheer. It got super competitive in the best way possible. It was hilarious and energetic.”
Portteus, a 6-foot-1 center for the Seahawks, said her favorite part of the week was interacting with the campers.
“I loved working with the kids,” she said. “I think I’ll want to do that when I’m older. They made me see basketball in a new way, it made me love the sport even more. They were all respectful and kind. I just enjoyed taking what I’ve learned from this program and being able to transfer it to little kids and helping them learn to love the game the way I have.”
In the end, Portteus was able to bring a large donation to the KP Food Bank.
“We ended up being able to bring two minivans full of food and also a check from one parent,” she said.
Portteus said some of the younger girls on the Seahawks roster are interested in potentially continuing the camp next summer.
“There’s some interest there, which I’m excited about,” she said. “It was a super fun experience and I’m glad I did it.”