It was a morning just for the girls at the Midway High School gym last Saturday, Nov. 17. Kaitlyn Jackson, with the help of friends and family, held a “Lil Ladies” basketball camp for girls in kindergarten through 8th grade.
The camp was free and the youngsters got four hours of good instruction and practice time with some of the members of the Raider basketball team.
Jackson headed up the camp as part of her senior project on the history of basketball.
“I put on the camp because it was something I knew and it would get the younger kids involved. I’ve played basketball since kindergarten,” she explained.
Jackson said the basketball drills she and her teammates were teaching were just the basics, which include ball handling, lay-ups, and outside shooting.
Not only are the youngsters getting a lesson, but Jackson said she was learning too - how demanding it can be to be the one in charge.
“I’ve learned that being a coach is stressful and it’s a lot harder than it looks,” she said with a tired smile.
She was expecting about 15 girls to show up last Saturday morning, but to her surprise 30 came running through the gym doors. “That made me feel really good,” she said.
Jackson not only starts on the Raider basketball team, but she is a starter on the volleyball and softball teams. Her involvement in sports is what has helped her make a career choice.
“I’m going to college for physical therapy and basketball and the other sports I’ve played have shown me that is what I want to do,” she stated. She’s been accepted at East Carolina, but added, “I’m not 100 percent positive that’s where I’m going. I’m keeping my options open,” she said.
Jennifer Honeycutt, Midway’s assistant athletic director and girls basketball coach, was also on hand to offer assistance to Jackson if she needed it.
Jackson said Honeycutt puts on a basketball camp every year for high school girls and she plans to repay the favor by coming back and helping Honeycutt with her camp. “I love doing this,” she said brightly.
“And I’m so thankful for the help of my classmates, teammates, parents, and Coach Honeycutt. I couldn’t have done this without them,” Jackson stressed.