“PIP’s, PIP’s, PIP’s, yeah!!” rang throughout the Sunray Middle School gym one Thursday evening in early December. A new program is being implemented and is meeting with good reviews. PIP’s, which stands for Players in Progress, is a nationwide program that uses basketball to develop eye-hand coordination, teamwork, and self-discipline.
On November 30, more than seventy students ranging from kindergarten to fifth grade, attended a four-hour basketball camp hosted by three national PIP representatives who talked to the students about doing the best they can, and then doing more, and showed them how to add to skills at more complicated levels. Students learned and practiced ball-handling and dribbling skills while instructors emphasized self-discipline and self-pride. Every aspect of the camp was designed to improve self-esteem, right down to how to hold a ball when not practicing!
During the camp, there was also a parent meeting that addressed parent involvement and questions. The PTO cooked hot dogs and supplied water and chips for all of the participants. At the end of the camp, the participants performed in their first PIP performance in front of approximately 100 parents.
Sunray PIP’s will continue to practice weekly, and they already have three performances scheduled for the spring: January 19, January 26, and February 2. Currently all performances are scheduled to take place during half-time at Sunray High School varsity basketball games.
“We are very excited about the program because of the underlying effects we feel it will have. These kids are working hard to learn basketball, but they are learning far more important life skills!” stated Brandy Wood