Basketball camp celebrates 49 years

LA JARA — Fred’s Youth Basketball camp, held at the La Jara Elementary School, is a camp for boys and girls between the ages of 4 and 11 with the main purpose of teaching fundamental basketball skills to the participants. 

With the help of Richard Pena and Russell Shawcroft, Fred Gutierrez was able to complete the 49th year of the basketball program. 

The program is geared for boys and girls pre-junior high age to learn the basic basketball principles, teamwork, and how to have fun playing basketball. The program runs for six weeks, during which they also have an exhibition game at the half time of the Centauri boys’ varsity game, showing off the skills they have learned at the program. 

At the end of the program, Fred has special guest speakers that come and talk to the participants. April McCarroll, elementary teacher in La Jara, was the first speaker.  She challenged the participants with working hard, keeping their grades up, and to keep practicing. Kim Meis, La Jara Elementary PE teacher, was the second guest speaker. She told the kids that they need to follow their passion. 

“Whatever you want to do, you need to have passion for that and do the best you can.” 

Each participant received an award for their participation in the program which was the highlight of awards night. And as it has been for the last 49 years, with the close of awards, all participants and their coaches formed a team circle and ended with the well known basketball chant “be the best that you can be!”


Youth celebrate their accomplishments at the conclusion of the 49th Fred's Youth Basketball Camp.

Courtesy photo