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Youth work on fundamentals at Bulldogs June 8-19 hoops clinic
McClure, Gunzenhauser main instructors at camp
Kameron Gearhart, 9, of Ceres works on form shooting during the second session of the 26th Annual Ceres High School Basketball Camp. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Ceres youngsters Karah Pittman, Kameron Gearhart and Rylee Randez were among the participants at the 26th Annual Ceres High School Basketball Camp last month at Phil de la Porte Gymnasium.

Ceres High freshman girls basketball head coach Aimee Gunzenhauser led the instruction during the second session of the camp, held June 15-19.

Varsity standout Nicole Bates provided assistance.

Participants received 10 hours of instruction in a five-day span.

"I've known Nicole since she was in the first grade," said Kristen McClure, second-year head coach of the Bulldogs' varsity girls basketball squad. "I've seen her evolve into a great person and player."

The first session of the Ceres High camp was staged, June 8-12.

"I went to the camp all four years in high school," said McClure, a 2007 Ceres High grad. "The last three years, I helped run it. It's harder working with little kids because they have so much energy and they always want to play. They're fun to be around. We teach them the basics."

Pittman (12), Gearhart (9), Randez (7) and other camp participants dedicated time to shooting, free throws, layups, pivoting, dribbling and passing inside Phil de la Porte Gymnasium.

"We worked on fundamentals," McClure said. "We have them put that into a game at the end of the two weeks. These kids really pick up on things quick. It's really refreshing to see them come out as better players by the end of the camp."

McClure played three seasons of varsity basketball at Ceres High. She was named to the Valley Oak League First Team after averaging 15.9 points and 11.6 rebounds per game her senior year.

Kristen also suited up for Modesto JC. McClure returned from a serious knee injury and averaged 11.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.0 steals her sophomore year.

McClure qualified for state track and field championships in college and high school.

"Sometimes I have to pinch myself," she said. "I coach basketball at the high school I went to. It's amazing. I'm so thankful she (former Ceres High varsity girls basketball head coach/current Bulldogs' athletic director Shawna Nunes) gave me this opportunity. I'm passing everything I learned from her and him (former assistant girls hoops coach/Ceres High AD Phil de la Porte)."