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Big Lake girls basketball camp displays unity and perseverance during pandemic

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The Big Lake girls basketball team has been working hard in the gym for the past month.

One thing they refuse to miss out on is any opportunity to getting better during the off season.

So far the team has had open gyms every Sunday since June 28, clinics on Tuesdays and Thursdays since June 30, and camps that ran the entire week starting on Monday, July 20.

The chances to get in the gym are endless for the Hornets.

Quite possibly the biggest question about sports recently, has been how the team has adjusted in the midst of a pandemic.

It’s really a combination of a lot of little things.

Big Lake Assistant Coach David Lindquist said that every ball is sanitized daily, sanitizer is available and players use that or wash their hands after every drill – some players chose to bring their own basketballs, and all group drills were conducted with no more than five or six players.

Starting Sunday, July 26, all players and coaches were required to wear masks. Coaches social distanced six feet to ensure safety rules were followed as well. The team also decided to ban “high fives,” “fist bumps,” “shaking hands” or any other contact.

“That was hard because that is a way to affirm a good play, move or other positive action,” Coach Lindquist said. “But we adjusted.”

Once the safety precautions were handled the girls basketball squad was just happy to be back in the gym together.

“The girls were very excited to see each other and to be in the gym, as a team,” Coach Lindquist said. “I can tell you that there was a lot of enthusiasm, excitement, energy and positive attitudes, in all of our sessions. All of those positives were led by our three, senior captains.”

The 2020 Big Lake girls basketball captains are Mia Huberty, Caela Tighe, and Hailey Millam.

The open gyms are solely ran by the captains and the clinics and camps are run by coaches.

Coach Lindquist described them as “low key” and “fun”.

The goal is to get better and exercise some of those skills that might have become rusty in the spring, but there has been so much more that the team has done to grow closer as a team during this summer.

“After one of our clinics – when it was extremely hot – our Booster Club provided watermelon for our players,” Coach Lindquist said. “Then, we had a water fight to cool off and we made tie dye shirt too. Those events are vital to a team becoming closer and bonding.”

Another fun aspect of summer training is something the Big Lake coaches came up with together called the coaches spotlight.

At the end of each day of the camp the coaches chose stand out athletes that deserved to be recognized. Whether that was hustling, having a positive attitude, or improved free-throws, those players were recognized and awarded prizes.

Thanks to their sponsors – Grind Nutrition, Trail’s Grill and Sports Bar, Dairy Queen, and McDonald’s – the coaches were able to give out gift cards, Gatorade, and other items as rewards.

There’s a lot of uncertainties right now in regards to the high school basketball season, but Big Lake remains hopeful and focused on the future.

“We are very excited,” Coach Lindquist said. “We can’t wait to build on our 19 win season from a year ago and build on the positive momentum that it created within our program. I am so excited and ready to start. This is an amazing bunch of young ladies and I am proud to coach them.”

The Hornets 2020 team slogan is: One team, one heartbeat.

Reach Jessie Meyen at jessie.meyen@apgecm.com

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