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For Statesboro's Hill, every season is coaching season
SHS basketball
Statesboro High coach Lee Hill (third from left) coaches up players at his camp during Tuesday's session. - photo by JOSH AUBREY

Statesboro High head coach Lee Hill hasn’t let hip replacement surgery slow him down. Just over two months after having the surgery, Hill is back on the court hosting his 33rd straight youth camp at Statesboro High.

“I’ve been blessed as a lot of the kids I’ve coached at the camps have gone on to play for me here at Statesboro High School,” Hill said. “We try and give them a little bit of everything to help them in their game. We work on fundamentals, shooting techniques using the correct foot and hand on layups, and to just learn a little more about the game.”

“We see the kids get better year to year, but I also see them get better in the few days they are here,” Hill said. “Many camps just teach offensive skills, but we try and teach them how to play defense as well. We teach then how to guard in man to man, how to switch and how to play zone defense. You’d be surprised how little they really know about the game.”

One of the constants of the camp has been the involvement of Hill’s former players. This week Hill had plenty of help, from former players like Rico Campbell — who is now head coach at Johnson — to more recent players like Cam Harvey, Marcus Kirkland and Jordan Wright.

“It’s always nice to have former players, and former campers come back to help,” Hill said. “Rico said he came to my camp when he was 11 years old, and he is in his thirties now. The kids really listen when the former players they watched tell them things.”

“It just feels good to help these kids out, like how the older kids helped me when I was little,” said Marcus Kirkland. “Coach Hill means a lot to me, and I’m happy to come back and help him out too.”

“It’s something I have been doing really all my life,” said Cam Harvey. “When I was big enough to walk my dad brought me to Coach Hill’s camps. I was able to play here and help coach while I was playing, and now I’m happy to still be working with the kids.”

“When I was little all the kids I’d be playing with on the playgrounds would be coming here to camp, so I came too,” said Jordan Wright. “I didn’t want them getting ahead of me, so I came to learn what they were getting. Now I’m trying to return the favor and help these young kids with what I know.”

The busy summer for coach Hill doesn’t end with the camp this week. The Statesboro basketball team began summer practice this week, and will play over 30 games over the next couple months.

“We lost three starting seniors, so it’s important for this team to get some playing time together,” Hill said. “We have a lot of guys coming up from the junior varsity, and the summer leagues give us a chance to see how they do in game situations.”

Statesboro will begin their summer league schedule June 11 at home against Jenkins County, and will play in the annual FCA camp at Georgia June 18-20.