July 25, 2018
By: Leah Kocse
In its' 25th year, the Lady Greyhounds Basketball Camp is as strong as ever, with dozens of girls turning out at Johnston Hall for the 4 days of instruction last week. Leading the camp is Moravian women's basketball head coach Mary Beth Spirk, along with some of her assistant coaches and current players helping out. One of her assistants you may recognize, East Stroudsburg grad and Freedom high school stand-out Deanna Rayam, who now goes by her married name Harmon and was joined at camp on this particular day with her 3-year-old daughter Gianna. As you can see from the photo, Gianna is already working on her reporter skills!
Going into her 2nd year as an assistant coach at Moravian, Deanna brings with her a lot of proven success. In her first 2 seasons coaching the team at East Stroudsburg University, she helped the Warriors reach the PSAC Tournament, including the quarterfinals in 2014, the program's first since Deanna was a sophomore in 2008. During her playing days with the Warriors, Deanna wrapped up her senior year as an ALL-PSAC East 2nd team selection with 1,046 career points, averaging 14.3 points per game, becoming the first player to lead ESU in scoring, rebounds, and assists since 1991. Now, a Health and Physical Education Teacher in New Jersey, Deanna is all about passing down her skills to the younger generation through coaching, with this camp being a perfect opportunity to do just that.
When asked what sets this camp apart from the others, Coach Spirk believes its the focus on teaching the fundamentals of basketball, something she thinks is extremely important and lacking at other camps. While Coach Spirk wants these girls to have fun, which includes some game time, she also believes the bigger goal is to teach these girls the proper way to play basketball.
When asked what sets this camp apart from the others, Coach Spirk believes its the focus on teaching the fundamentals of basketball, something she thinks is extremely important and lacking at other camps. While Coach Spirk wants these girls to have fun, which includes some game time, she also believes the bigger goal is to teach these girls the proper way to play basketball. We spoke with a few campers, some returning for many years. When asked if they felt like they are learning something new each year, the reply was always "yes".
One camper, Amber Unger from Nazareth, talked with us about how she's been coming to camp for a few years now, and each year she always finds something she wants to improve on. This year, Amber says she was working on building up her confidence to go to the hoop. When I heard that, I found it interesting that the skill she wants to learn is more about a feeling than an actual physical movement. Then we spoke with another girl, Olivia Parkhill from Ambler, who was enjoying her first year at the camp. For Olivia, she wanted to work on the basic skills while also making new friends. Then it hit me, the social aspect of the game is huge! For some girls, the feeling of fitting in and making friends builds confidence, which translates to the court. In essence, it's not just 4 days of instruction, the lessons here are lifelong, as these girls will continue their friendship online through texts and emails! Then maybe one day, we will remember their names when we see their faces grace the highlights of Lehigh Valley Sport Scene, just like Deanna did in her playing days! Who knows, in about 12 years it could be Gianna Harmon breaking her moms' records!