COOLIDGE — The community has been waiting for the return of Dave Glasgow’s summer basketball camps for 17 years, and it appears that has created plenty of enthusiasm.

The youth and middle school camps held throughout the month regularly attracted 30-35 participants every day. That number is much higher than Glasgow, the head basketball coach at Coolidge High School, was used to when he held these camps in the 1990s and through 2004. He said in those days, daily attendance was in the low 20s.

Glasgow acknowledged the role social media played in the turnout, something he never had during his previous Coolidge stint. But he also said there appeared to be a lack of options around the area for similar activities. He cited one kid who came every day from another city because it was the only high quality basketball camp they could find.

“We’re hoping that they’re learning basketball skills and life skills,” Glasgow said. “We try to talk to them about important stuff.”

Those topics included staying away from drugs and working hard in school, something Glasgow hopes the kids in attendance keep in mind should they pursue an athletic journey.

The middle school camp in particular got to be so popular that Glasgow extended it into another week with a season-ending tournament. This was an especially positive development because there were no middle school sports during the pandemic, which left a lot of kids behind.

“It’s been a tough situation, so we got a lot of them in here and hopefully got them back on track,” Glasgow said. “A lot of kids played who really hadn’t played organized basketball yet.”

Getting the middle school program back up and running is part of a larger basketball ecosystem that Glasgow hopes will bring in more players who are ready to contribute at the high school level as soon as they step into the Roundhouse. And that’s not just for his boys team, either, as the camps featured many girls who hope to fill out the numbers in the girls program.

“We hope to build a strong feeder system,” Glasgow said. “We’re getting kids interested in basketball, and hopefully that moves them in the right direction as far as basketball and making the right life choices.”

To continue the momentum the camps have created, Glasgow will be taking 9-, 11- and 13-year-old teams to the Sporting Chance Summer Slam in Tucson, which will put their skills to the test against teams from around the western United States and Mexico. The tournament takes place July 16-18.

Glasgow thanked Carlos Coronado, who led many of the basketball drills during the camp, for his contributions to the success.

“He’s really good with ball handling in particular,” Glasgow said. “He’s got the right personality for the kids as well. I don’t know how I would have done this without him.”

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