Basketball campers learning life lessons through WB Explorers program

By Ralph Nardone - For Times Leader
Meyers grad and camp instructor Dave Jannuzzi gives instructions at the Wilkes-Barre Police Explorers basketball camp at the Wyoming Valley CYC on Saturday. - Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader
Camryn Collins, of Mountain Top, warms up to start the Wilkes-Barre Police Explorers basketball camp at the Wyoming Valley CYC on Saturday. - Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader
GAR graduate and camp instructor Chris Shovlin goes over defensive positioning and rebounding during the Wilkes-Barre Police Explorers basketball camp Saturday. - Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader
Blaze Oquendo, of Wilkes-Barre, runs through drills with other campers at the Wilkes-Barre Police Explorers basketball camp Saturday. - - Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader
Camper Camryn Collins, of Mountain Top, practices ball-handling skills during the Wilkes-Barre Police Explorers basketball camp at the Wyoming Valley CYC on Saturday. - - Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader
Janae McClary, left, and Jace John, both of Wilkes-Barre, practice ball-handling skills at the Wilkes-Barre Police Explorers basketball camp at the Wyoming Valley CYC on Saturday. - - Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

WILKES-BARRE — About 70 local boys and girls in grades 2 through 8 had the chance to learn how to dribble, shoot and score from professional basketball players Saturday.

They are participating in a clinic this weekend designed to teach them hoops with a helping of life lessons.

The camp was spearheaded by the Wilkes-Barre Police Explorers mentoring program. The two-day event at the Wyoming Valley Catholic Youth Center includes training from professional basketball players, basketball skills contests, lunch provided by the CYC, strength and fitness training, and a chance to enjoy open swim time.

“This is a collaboration between the CYC, the Wilkes-Barre Police Explorers program, the S&J Clutch Basketball Academy and FAME Strength,” said Ryan Smith, CYC program executive.

Youngsters eagerly learned from instructors Dave Jannuzzi and Chris Shovlin, former Wilkes University basketball standouts who made it to the professional level and now run the S&J academy at the CYC. They organized free throw contests and one-on-one games for the players to showcase their skills and encouraged the kids to focus on healthy competition.

Wilkes-Barre Police Officer Robert Collins approached the CYC about starting the basketball camp earlier this year. He uses the center’s gymnasiums for practice sessions for the Explorers teams he organized in January.

“This is the first year of the partnership between the two organizations,” Smith said. “This weekend’s camp is the second of hopefully many more to come.”

For more on the police department’s Explorers program, call Officer Collins at 570-472-8495.

Meyers grad and camp instructor Dave Jannuzzi gives instructions at the Wilkes-Barre Police Explorers basketball camp at the Wyoming Valley CYC on Saturday.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_TTL052018Camp_2-1-.jpgMeyers grad and camp instructor Dave Jannuzzi gives instructions at the Wilkes-Barre Police Explorers basketball camp at the Wyoming Valley CYC on Saturday. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

Camryn Collins, of Mountain Top, warms up to start the Wilkes-Barre Police Explorers basketball camp at the Wyoming Valley CYC on Saturday.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_TTL052018Camp_3-1-.jpgCamryn Collins, of Mountain Top, warms up to start the Wilkes-Barre Police Explorers basketball camp at the Wyoming Valley CYC on Saturday. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

GAR graduate and camp instructor Chris Shovlin goes over defensive positioning and rebounding during the Wilkes-Barre Police Explorers basketball camp Saturday.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_TTL052018Camp_4-1-.jpgGAR graduate and camp instructor Chris Shovlin goes over defensive positioning and rebounding during the Wilkes-Barre Police Explorers basketball camp Saturday. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

Blaze Oquendo, of Wilkes-Barre, runs through drills with other campers at the Wilkes-Barre Police Explorers basketball camp Saturday.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_TTL052018Camp_5-1-.jpgBlaze Oquendo, of Wilkes-Barre, runs through drills with other campers at the Wilkes-Barre Police Explorers basketball camp Saturday. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

Camper Camryn Collins, of Mountain Top, practices ball-handling skills during the Wilkes-Barre Police Explorers basketball camp at the Wyoming Valley CYC on Saturday.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_TTL052018Camp_6-1-.jpgCamper Camryn Collins, of Mountain Top, practices ball-handling skills during the Wilkes-Barre Police Explorers basketball camp at the Wyoming Valley CYC on Saturday. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

Janae McClary, left, and Jace John, both of Wilkes-Barre, practice ball-handling skills at the Wilkes-Barre Police Explorers basketball camp at the Wyoming Valley CYC on Saturday.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_TTL052018Camp_1-1-.jpgJanae McClary, left, and Jace John, both of Wilkes-Barre, practice ball-handling skills at the Wilkes-Barre Police Explorers basketball camp at the Wyoming Valley CYC on Saturday. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

By Ralph Nardone

For Times Leader