Norwalk Reflector: Huge turnout for Next Level 419 basketball camp
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Huge turnout for Next Level 419 basketball camp

By JOSH MORGRET • Updated Jul 12, 2019 at 2:55 PM

NEW WASHINGTON — Basketball shoes skidding across the floor.

Dozens of basketballs being dribbled. A plethora of shots thrown up simultaneously while others duck to avoid rebounds connecting with heads.

Nearly 200 kids gathered at Buckeye Central High School this week for the Next Level 419 basketball camp, ran by Willard boys coach Joe Bedingfield and Colonel Crawford boys assistant coach Nate Hill.

"It was great providing an opportunity for kids to hear different voices with the same message," Bedingfield said. "As coaches, we all try to preach the same thing."

The kids were divided into 10 groups, spending around eight or nine minutes with two coaches at a time throughout the campus in New Washington.

"We had a great turnout," Hill said. "We had kids come in and work hard for two hours every day. It was fun to be around all these great coaches."

Buckeye Central has three gyms, an auxiliary room, a weight room, and two full courts outside that each group of kids rotated through.

"I think everybody had fun," said Bedingfield, who coached the Crimson Flashes to a 22-4 record and a Division III regional semifinal appearance last season. "I had a lot of parents tell me how great of an opportunity it was for their kids to come."

Bedingfield had plenty of help in coaching as it was a who's who of coaches from the area.

Chris Sheldon (Western Reserve boys), Brett Seidel (South Central boys), Dave Hirshy (Willard boys assistant), Greg Nossaman (former Willard boys, current Olentangy Liberty), Jon Dawson (former Willard girls), Joe Balogh (Ontario boys), David Sheldon (Colonel Crawford boys), Amy Taylor-Sheldon (Wynford girls), Ted Willman (former Tiffin Calvert boys), Eric Picklesimer (Buckeye Central boys), Abram Kaple (Buckeye Central girls), and Phil Loy (former Buckeye Central boys, current BC athletic director) were among the coaches.

"All the coaches are tremendous and do a great job," Bedingfield said. "You look at Joe Balogh and Greg Nossaman, who were in a gym together — and they have close to 1,000 wins. Having 20 coaches also keeps the ratio down. It is about 10-to-1, which is what you would have during the season with your own team."

The different stations including ball handling, shooting, dribbling, and even a jump rope station.

"It is cool to be able to learn from different coaches," Hill said. "Each has their own philosophy and skill sets. It is a lot of fun and good for the kids' growth."

Everyone was in for a treat on Tuesday, as former Ohio State players Aaron Craft and Dallas Lauderdale each walked the campus, helping at each station.

At Ohio State, Craft was two-time All-Big Ten and the 2013 Big Ten Tournament MVP, helping the Buckeyes to a Final Four along with Elite Eight and Sweet 16 appearances. Known for his defense, he was a two-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and was on the league’s All-Defensive team all four years of college.

In his four-year college career at OSU, Lauderdale played 138 games (102 starts) while averaging 4.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 17.6 minutes per game. He was named to one Big Ten Defensive team and helped the Buckeyes to an NIT championship in 2008.

 

Craft and Lauderdale wrapped up the day encouraging students to be better people, talking about their faith and foundation and belief in God.

"Those guys are great about giving back to the area," Bedingfield said. "Their message was tremendous. A lot of people put emphasis on results or achievements. It is more about the process and what you get out of the process."

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