By Gary Curreri
Herman Robinson and Danielle Domino each look forward to the Highlands Christian Academy basketball camp every year.
Robinson, 16, of Deerfield Beach, and Domino, 15, of Parkland, are both sophomores and starting point guards for their respective boys’ and girls’ teams at the school.
“This is good,” said Robinson, who attended the camp in his fifth grade year and the past three years from his 7th, 8th and 9th grade years. “I get a lot of drills out of it and I get better. It depends on how hard you work.”
Robinson, who has attended Highlands Christian Academy since the fifth grade, followed up his week of learning with a week of giving back. It is also his second year working the camp.
“It’s interesting because I get to see what I am like to the coaches that are here,” Robinson said. “I also see what I was like when I was their age. I want to give them my full attention and teach them things that I already know like respect.”
“Basketball delivers hard work and patience and mostly everything, including teamwork,” Robinson added. “I have a passion for it … a strong passion for it. I want to go all the way to the professional ranks, whether it is NBA, D-League or overseas.”
Domino is the youngest of three siblings to play at the school. Her older brother, Derek (college football) and Drew (college basketball) also prepped at the school. She’s been at the school since the 2nd grade and been on the varsity since the 7th grade after she moved up late in the season from the JV and has been on the varsity ever since.
“It teaches me to work hard and how to work with people,” said Domino, who has attended the camp since the 2nd grade. “Especially when we are playing 5-on-5, it builds teamwork and good work ethics.”
This is her 3rd year working the camp.
“It is a lot of patience because I am with the little kids, the third graders, but I like working with them because I get to show them how it is done and build them up for the future,” Domino said. “I like to teach them to work hard. You just have to be quick with it (your message) because they have a short attention span. We teach a lot of the fundamentals. Whatever you do best, you try and teach them.
“I love working with little kids,” Domino added. “I want to coach when I get older, if I am not playing. I want to go to the WNBA, but college is my first priority right now. I want to play college basketball.”
Jim Good has been Athletic Director at the school for the past four years and the school’s varsity boys’ basketball coach for a decade.
The camp featured 53 boys and girls in its first week of camp, including students in grades 7 through 12. It has nearly 50 children in this week’s camp, including students in grades 2 through 6.
Good said it was rewarding to have students/athletes who grew up attending the camp now coaching the younger campers in the second week. Good has been involved in the camps for the past 17 years.
“Any time you have a player who goes through that camp and then comes around the next week and switches roles and now they are the coach, it’s rewarding as a coach, to see them give back,” Good said. “They are great role models for the younger kids.”
It marked the 29th year of basketball camps at Highlands Christian Academy. Former athletic director and boys varsity basketball coach Reg Cook started them in 1985. It is the most popular of all the summer athletic camps offered by the school.
The camps featured a morning devotion followed by warm-up runs and stretches, followed by an emphasis on ball handling and dribbling. The group was divided up into stations to work on lay-ups and shooting. A certain skill was emphasized each day. Several contests were done throughout the week, which included 1-on- 1, 2-on-2, free throws and hot shots. Full court, 5-on-5 full games were played in the afternoon after lunch.
“We update the drills and we also had an all-star game with the older group,” Good said. “We select the 10 best players in the high school groups, break out the uniforms, and they play the coaches. The coaches are undefeated in the four years we have played.”
Good said about 70 percent of the campers attend Highlands Christian Academy and the remaining players attend schools in the surrounding communities. The two most notable campers to attend the Highlands Christian Academy basketball camp include Brandon Knight (Milwaukee Bucks) and Andrew Smith (now a senior at Liberty University).
Knight attended the camp when he was in the 4th grade and went on to star at Pine Crest School, and played a year at Kentucky, before being a first round pick of the Detroit Pistons.
It is the only two weeks of basketball that the school offers. In future weeks, they will offer softball, soccer, track and field, volleyball and golf.
“We have three goals,” Good said. “One is for them to have fun, the second is to work hard and the third is to glorify God