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Georgia Southern hosts youth basketball camp
GS Basketball
Tai Strickland instructs campers on the finer points of zone defense during Georgia Southern basketball coach Brian Burg's youth basketball camp on Wednesday, June 29. - photo by By SCOTT BRYANT/staff

This may be the third summer Brian Burg has been in Statesboro, but it’s only his second year of being able to hold his youth basketball camps. The Georgia Southern men’s head coach saw his number more than triple from a year ago as they went from just over 50 campers to over 160 this year. 


“The camp has grown dramatically,” said Burg. “We have kids from Statesboro and this region, but we also have some from as far as Chicago, Alabama and the northeast. We feel we have a great structure with station work in the mornings and competitions right before lunch. We come back and listen to a guest speaker and then play five-on-five before wrapping things up.” 


Besides being a great opportunity for people in the Statesboro community Burg also hopes to see many of these same kids with their entire families during basketball season. 


“Our players are heavily involved in the camp and build relationships with the kids here,” said Burg. “We sponsor a game during the season where any of the campers can come back and bring their families. We are hoping they will become Eagle fans for life after having such a great experience here.” 


The Eagles had the campers in three different gyms in Hanner Fieldhouse separated by age groups. Helping to lead the kids through their drills were members of the Eagle basketball team who had a chance to understand what their own coaches go through with them. 


“It’s a great opportunity for our players,” said Burg. “They get a chance to build relationships with the kids and pass on some of the knowledge others have passed on to them. They also get a taste of seeing what coaching is all about. Across the board the guys have really seemed to enjoy their work with trying to help the kids improve. I see a lot of possible players that may have what it takes to be coaches in the future. I really see it with a guy like Cam Bryant.” 


Bryant said he enjoyed the challenge of trying to help the campers improve and also gave him some insight into what his coaches go through.  


“I now understand a lot better the coach’s side of things,” said Bryant. “I see how it takes a lot of patience to try and coach. It has been great to work with these kids and give back to the community. We appreciate the fans coming out and supporting us and I’m glad we can do things like this to give back. Hopefully these kids can take what we are teaching them and be able to improve their games.” 


Burg is also grateful for the opportunity for his players to be able to bond while working together at the camp. The Eagles have nine returning players to go along with their four newcomers and Burg is optimistic about the upcoming season. 


“We have so excited about this upcoming season and the team we have,” said Burg. “We have a solid core coming back along with four new additions. The guys are working hard and we are in week four of our offseason workouts. We still have three weeks left and I have really seen the progress. We are anxious to put in our foundation of offense and defense and see what this year’s team looks like.”