The sounds of basketballs being dribbled and sneakers squeaking on hardwood floor are still resounding outside of La Cañada High's north gym. The only difference is those who are making the noises are first- through eighth-graders, not high school athletes.
It is the 25th year Tom Hofman is coaching the Spartans boys' basketball team, and the 25th year he is putting on the Spartans Basketball Summer Camp for youth players.
"We try to teach them early, developmental basketball skills," Hofman said. "We're not trying to make them into Michael Jordan; we are just trying to teach them things here they can draw upon if they want to pursue basketball in the future."
Camp members are taught the fundamentals of ball-handling, footwork, defense, teamwork and basic shooting techniques. The camp includes scrimmages, skill competitions and drills to help prepare them for high school and beyond.
Adam Malik, a 2007 La Cañada graduate whom Hofman calls one of the best Spartan basketball players of all time, said the drills done at the camp are the same performed in high school and colleges. Malik will be a junior on the UC Davis men's basketball team.