If the summer basketball season could be likened to a game of Clovis High basketball, this week would be the summer’s full-court press.
A two-section youth camp, plus Clovis’ high school summer league, combined to make Rock Staubus Gymnasium a basketball hotbed from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The annual Wildcat basketball camp runs through Friday, with an early session for players in grades 1-3 and an afternoon session for older players.
“We have 22 first-, second- and third-graders, and we’ve had them for three hours,” Clovis coach J.D. Isler said. “That’s a long time for little kids. They held their attention pretty well.
“We’ve got 55 in our older session. It’s nice to have the interest level so high.”
Once the camp finished, it was a quick setup for that night’s league play. The league consists of 10 teams playing short games. The 20-minute games feature a running clock for the first 18 minutes and stoppages in the final two minutes, allowing a game to fit in a 30-minute block.
Varsity programs play at Rock Staubus, while a younger league mostly supervised by junior high coaches Phil Lemke and Randy McBroom play at the Clovis High School Freshman Campus.
While waiting for a game to start, Clovis senior-to-be Lincoln Nora said the games are a benefit to a Wildcat program with new players coming in.
“Summer league is doing good,” Nora said. “It’s allowing us to get our younger players up.”
Nora said the toughest games so far are against the “Clovis Exes,” a team of former Wildcats, including Jaden Isler and Bryce Hill, the No. 3 and 4 scorers, respectively, in Wildcat history.
“We try to play our exes as much as we can,” Coach Isler said, “because they really expose our weaknesses.”
Isler said there’s not much summer travel on the schedule because two of Clovis’ primary guards — seniors Craig Cook (playing summer baseball in Arizona) and Lathan Lieb (recovering from a knee injury) — aren’t available for the summer.
Thursday concluded the second week of the four-week league, with games Tuesday and Thursdays.
Jaden Isler, aided by Hill, will instruct the upcoming “I-22 Hoops Shooting Clinic” with a Monday/Tuesday clinic in San Jon and a June 14-15 clinic at Rock Staubus.