HELENA — Zane Foster, Kendall Moore, Andrew Cook, Josiah Cuaresma, Trent Rogers, Luke Frampton, Jordan Bryant and the rest of the Carroll men's basketball team were up bright and early Wednesday for the Saints' first Thankgiving skills camp.
The camp began at the P.E. Center on the campus of Carroll College, which included three hours of basketball drills, skill work, and of course, competition. The inaugural Thanksgiving camp was open to boys and girls grades K-8.
"I was in their shoes at one point. For me, It's just trying to give back to what I had when I was little, you know, being a kid, they look up to people. They want to play basketball and that's exactly what we're here to do for them," said Cuaresma, a freshman guard out of Missoula Big Sky.
First-year head coach Ryan Lundgren and his 2023-24 staff began the camp as something new for youth players in the community.
"When you have numbers like this, even with two full gyms, you're jammed packed. I'm really big on being engaged for the whole three hours. Parents are sacrificing their time and money to get their kids here, and I want to make sure that they feel like they're getting a lot out of it, but I think we've done a great job utilizing the facility and making sure that's happened," Lundgren continued.
"I think you see the ability to have a head coach like Ryan Lundgren being around, the energy he brings to a camp is really great," said Carroll College assistant coach Alex Hobbs.
Originally from La Porte, Texas — Hobbs has worked with athletes of all ages.
"There's just a sense of fun and just a natural energy to it, because they're just kids. It's great to see them out here having a good time. My hope is they'll leave here meeting a friend or two that they didn't know before and that's the best of it for me," mentioned Hobbs.
Carroll men's basketball players and coaches were all in attendance coaching and instructing specific drills. Campers had the opportunity to win jerseys and prizes, but they all received autographs and pictures afterward.
The Saints plan to complete another round of the holiday hoops camp during the Christmas break. Additionally, the women's team will host a basketball camp during the winter break specifically for girls.