— By GREG WEBB
PEASTER — When Peaster head girls basketball coach Denise Yankie took over the reigns of the Lady Greyhounds in the 2012-13 season, the move was a bit of a homecoming back to this area.
The Lady Greyhounds basketball camp was her second here at Peaster — that is easy enough to count. But beyond that, the coach (and director of the camp) has too few fingers to find a total.
“I have run so many [basketball camps] over the years, it’s really just too many to keep up with,” Yankie said.
Despite the numerous sessions of teaching the fundamentals of the game, Yankie’s enjoyment level has not waned and the anticipation of talent headed her way generates even more enthusiasm.
“It’s really exciting seeing some of the talented older girls in this group that will be entering high school this year,” she said of the freshmen attending the camp earlier this week. “But we also had a good group of the middle school kids this week that are going to be talented, too. So, it’s nice to know that they are still coming.
“I just have to make sure the younger girls realize that they need to improve their level of play each year. It’s one thing to be a good middle school player, but the game changes at the high school level and the younger girls have to change with it.”
With more than 40 girls attending this year’s sessions, the camp size grew a bit over last year’s sign-ups. As with all of the summer offerings of sports camps, the competition with vacations, other area camps and various other summer attractions can be formidable. Still, Yankie is pleased with the numbers.
The Peaster coach grew up in Poolville and had a basketball career as a Lady Monarch that helped determine her life-long career. An all-state player, Yankie’s team was the first to go to the state tournament.