Hoopcamps kicks off 47th summer

Young Islander basketball players take part in this summer
Young Islander basketball players take part in this summer's Hoopcamp Session One.
— image credit: Contributed Photo

Islander Hoopcamps kicked off its 47th summer providing basketball instruction to Mercer Island youth. Over 220 kids will participate across the 6 sessions this year, led by Islander head coach, Gavin Cree.

Week one began the with overall basketball skills sessions for kids entering 1st through 8th grades, divided across morning and afternoon sessions.  Coach Cree is assisted in the camps by Islander assistant coach, Chris Newell, a long-time Mercer Island basketball player who played Division I basketball at UC Santa Barbara. Also assisting at camps are various Mercer Island basketball alumni, including Quinn Sterling (UW), Joe Rasmussen (SPU), Derek Newhof (Willamette), Jake Shaddle (Shoreline), Jake Stenberg (2014 MIHS Captain) and Sean Hughes (2012 MIHS Captain).

The campers-of-the-week winners in week one were Jack Besecker, Tony Swendrowski, Joe Cookson and William Leeand, all for exemplifying the Islander basketball traits of leadership, optimism, hustle and improvement. Best attitude winners were Henry Newcomer, Luke Michaelbus, Henry Watson and Graham Cartwright.

“I loved what we saw on the court last week. The kids worked very hard and came away much better players,” said Coach Cree of the performance of all campers in the first week. “My coaches and I enjoy these camps each year, spending quality time with each kid focused on fundamentals. You can never stress the fundamentals of the game enough, from youth basketball all the way to the pros. We see so many kids make huge leaps in skill level between seasons, and these camps are a great way to kickoff a productive summer.”

There are still opportunities for 5th - 8th graders to join ball handling and shooting camps the week of July 7 - 10.  Registration is available online at

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