Pye hopes camp will spur basketball growth in Grand Falls-Windsor

Published on July 13, 2017

Jon Pye instructs some young female players in a drill during the St. Anthony Basketball Camp in Grand Falls-Windsor this past weekend.

GRAND FALLS-WINDSOR, NL – Jon Pye learned a lot about basketball while growing up in Grand Falls-Windsor and playing for the Exploits Valley High Eagles.

This past weekend, he was back in town with fellow instructor Chad Langdon of the St. Anthony Basketball Camp hoping to engage young local players and provide a spark for growth in the game.

Pye serves as director of operations for the St. John’s-based St. Anthony Basketball Program. The trip to his hometown was part of their efforts to “spread the sport around and get some interest in places where there aren’t any basketball clubs.”

“We wanted to get out to areas that are not usually exposed to camps like this,” he added.

The camp was held at Exploits Valley High.

“I know that Brian (Cooke) is doing the (Steve Nash Program) for the younger players in Grades 1-3 here and I’m friends with the coach of the high school team, but there may be a coaching gap in Grades 5-8,” Pye explained about the status of minor basketball in his hometown.

“We had 14 participants (in Grand Falls-Windsor) and that was fantastic,” he said. “We’re trying to create the idea that even if you aren’t exposed to a basketball program, you can still get to camps like this and learn.”

Pye said one possible area of focus for the program in the future would be formation of basketball clubs in some places outside the capital city.

“In the (United) States, and even in Nova Scotia lately, that model seems to work,” he told the Advertiser.

The St. Anthony Basketball Camp in Grand Falls-Windsor this past weekend provided a great deal of benefit, including a donation to the Autism Society.

©Contributed photo