Dark Horses get court time during summer vacation


By Mike Carter - Sports Writer



E.J. Howard (32) pulls up for a short jumper during a game last season. Howard has taken advantage of the team camps this summer to help sharpen his basketball skills and has developed in to a strong senior leader for the Dark Horses.


By Mike Carter

Sports Writer

E.J. Howard (32) pulls up for a short jumper during a game last season. Howard has taken advantage of the team camps this summer to help sharpen his basketball skills and has developed in to a strong senior leader for the Dark Horses.
http://clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/web1_DSC_13081.jpgE.J. Howard (32) pulls up for a short jumper during a game last season. Howard has taken advantage of the team camps this summer to help sharpen his basketball skills and has developed in to a strong senior leader for the Dark Horses.

The Clinton High School Men’s Basketball team has kept a busy schedule this summer.

Coach Randy Jordan and his charges have participated in three team camps at Clinton High School, all hosted by Jordan and the Dark Horses, and have traveled to a couple of other camps to participate against some high level competition. The goal of this busy schedule is to sharpen their basketball skills, but possibly of greater benefit are the intangibles that the players gain from the experience.

The three camps hosted by the Dark Horses included such teams as Laney, North Raleigh Christian, West Columbus, Hobbton, Midway, Dixon, Cleveland, Triton, Bartlett Yancy and Jack Britt. Jordan puts the camps together to help raise funds for the basketball program and to provide a skill building opportunity for local and visiting players.

“These camps are a great way to get the kids out for some extra work in the summer, they are all voluntary and we have gotten a good group out this summer,” Jordan said. “We want our kids to play two or three sports so some of them are doing other sports camps and activities as well as lifting weights so it is a big commitment for them and their parents that spend a lot of time getting them to and from the camps, I am really pleased with the turnout.”

Jordan also stressed the fact that the players get to face good, high level competition.

“We just got back from the Laney team camp which is sponsored by Nike and the Michael Jordan Brand. They had 48 teams there including Orange County High, Wallace-Rose Hill and a host of other strong teams from across the region,” he said.

Clinton will finish up the summer camp circuit by attending the East Coast Invitational Camp in Jacksonville. Jordan indicated that this is one of the most prestigious team camps on the eastern seaboard.

“We will be in a great bracket at the East Coast with teams like Southwest Onslow, East Chapel Hill, Goldsboro, New Hanover, East Duplin and Parrott Academy. East Carterett, the defending 1-A champ and Kinston, the defending 2-A champion will also be at the camp, so there are some really good teams there,” he said.

The real advantage that Jordan sees in competing in the team camps is the intangibles like leadership building, team bonding and cohesiveness.

“We have seen such growth in our players maturity this summer, several guys have stepped up and taken on more of a leadership role,” said Jordan. “E.J. Howard is one kid that has really performed well on the court this summer and has taken on a leadership role for our team, he is really maturing and will play a big role for us next season as a senior leader.”

Overall, the team camps are a huge plus for the programs that participate.

“The opportunity to compete against strong competition is key for us and the chance to come together as a team and bond is a real added bonus. Our team motto for the upcoming year is, a goal without a plan is a wish. If we are going to realize our potential as a team we have to all be on the same page so we can execute our plan,” concluded Jordan.

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