Josh Almanson shares his hoop skills with hometown youngsters

Josh Almanson (standing at right) with campers along with coach Vitto Brown (standing left)

By DAVID DUPONT

BG Independent News

When Josh Almanson was just getting ready to launch his professional career, he decided he wanted to share the skills that had gotten him that far with the kids in his hometown of Bowling Green.

So the Josh Almanson Basketball Camp was launched. On Monday the 13th camp gets underway at the Bowling Green Community Center. The camp runs Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. each day for girls and boys who will be entering grades 2-9.

Almanson’s pro career lasted nine years starting and ending in Luxembourg with stops between in Germany, France, and Portugal.

But every year, he’d bring home what he’d learned along the way.

He’s now a middle school assistant principal in Worthington, a suburb of Columbus, where he also serves as athletic director.

Almanson, 36, said the camp taught him lessons as well. It gave him an exposure to working with youngsters that fueled his interest in education.

Over the years he’s learned that the campers come in full of energy, and his job is to make sure they expend it before they leave the gym at the end of the day. “You don’t want them to go home with some left in the tank,” he said.

Children’s first exposure to basketball often comes from seeing game highlights. He wants to show them what goes into creating those spectacular plays. “What happens when they show up to a tryout and practice? Their exposure may be seeing highlights, this looks completely different.”

There’s training in the fundamentals, integrated with a lot of game play. “We have different team competitions or individual competitions. We do a lot of skill work and development. That’s kind of the basis, a lot of skill work and a lot of competition.”

The camp draws 60 to 80 kids from all over Northwest Ohio. “They have a good time and meet new people.”

Depending on numbers they’ll be broken down into several groups based on age. Some of the students come in with relatively advanced skills and already play in leagues. Others are just starting to learn he sport.

Almanson works with them all. “We want kids to learn something about basketball and learn something about themselves and have a good time with it.”

He said he’s been fortunate in the coaching help he’s gotten to help with the camp. Some have gone on to coach in college.

Almanson did coach the first few years he was a teacher, but can’t now that he’s an administrator. He said he’d like to in the future, especially if he has children involved in sports.

Almanson played at Bowling Green High School, and then went to Bowling Green State University to play four years.

His time in Europe taught him a lot beyond basketball.

He had to adjust a variety of cultures and different people. “I don’t play basketball on a daily basis. I do interact with people on a daily basis. It’s given me a different perspective on how people are operating, and how people are different.”

Josh Almanson Basketball Camp costs $100 for each participant. For more information visit:  www.joshalmansoncamp.com.

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