St. Finbar Offers Basketball Camps, Plus Tons Of Fun

Youth Hoops Camps are available in June, July and August for boys and girls ages six through 14.

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Youngsters shooting at an earlier St. Finbar Youth Hoops Camp. (Photo courtesy Mike Graceffo)

By Rick Assad

While the NCAA college basketball champion has been crowned when the University of Connecticut routed Purdue 75-60 and the NBA is poised in roughly three weeks to do the same, Burbank’s St. Finbar Parish School will hold a series of basketball camps for boys and girls across June, July and August.

Youngsters between the ages six and 14 are welcome to sign up for the St. Finbar MVP Basketball Camp. The price is $125.00 per camper. If interested, email www.mgraceffo@stfinbar.org.

The camps run from June 17 through June 21, June 24 through June 28, July 8 through July 12, July 15 through July 19 and August 5 through August 9.

Each day, the camps commence at 5:30 p.m. and end at 7:30 p.m.

Longtime coach and St. Finbar athletic director Mike Graceffo, who has been doing camps for over two decades including the Michael Jordan camp in Elmhurst, Illinois, and Santa Barbara, will be the lead coach and director, but other coaches will assist, including current St. Robert Bellarmine coach Justin Waters, who will be the assistant camp coordinator.

The camps are open to all students, not just Burbank residents and will focus on basketball fundamentals such as shooting, passing, footwork, defense, rebounding and conditioning.

The flyer for the St. Finbar MVP Basketball Camp. (Photo courtesy Mike Graceffo)

Additionally there will be games, contests, prize giveaways, guest speakers and Fun Fridays in which there will be pizza, water balloon toss and music.

On those days, the campers will play several fun and popular games like dodgeball, kickball, capture the flag and run an obstacle course.

On Friday, other sports such as baseball, softball, T-ball for the younger campers, flag football, soccer and volleyball will also be played.

Graceffo, who was recently voted best youth coach by myburbank.com, and has been voted into the Catholic Youth Organization Hall of Fame and the Burbank Sports Walk of Fame, is one of a handful who has coached at Burroughs High, Burbank, Providence and Bellarmine-Jefferson.

Graceffo’s coached teams have won at least one or more titles at each school.

“We run these camps to help the student-athletes improve their skills. Summer is a great opportunity to get better and work on their skills,” he said. “Also to help promote and show the community what our school and campus looks like and what we offer.”

These weeks in camps can and will make the person feel more confident in his or her ability.

“These camps improve the young student-athlete skills set,” Graceffo noted. “It helps introduce them to the different sports and teams, it gives confidence and gives the athletes an enjoyable experience.”

Graceffo added: “The kids have a great and fun experience as well as learning the sport and giving them the confidence to be able to achieve anything they want to do,” he pointed out.

Graceffo, who is Burbank born and bred, feels a sense of giving back to the city in which he lives.

Mike Graceffo (right) has been involved in youth sports camps for over two decades and will be the head coach and director for the St. Finbar MVP Basketball Camp. (Photo courtesy Mike Graceffo)

“The satisfaction of giving back to the school and community and giving them a lifetime of memories and helping these kids achieve their dreams and goals,” he said of the camp’s goals.

No one can run the show without assistance, as Graceffo will add other top-notch coaches.

“I’m bringing in some great ex-players as coaches as well as some current players and coaching friends of mine,” Graceffo said. “The main thing is the people I bring in to help all care about kids and will do an amazing job of making sure it’s a great experience.”

Graceffo, who has run the highly popular Burbank Parks and Recreations camps, called MVP Basketball Camps which he was the director, would average 60 to 75 campers.

“I want kids to have an enjoyable experience,” he said. “Obviously learn the proper way to play different sports and games. We also stress the importance of being a good person and great in the classroom.”

The camps also help promote St. Finbar and what it has to offer.

“The camps increase exposure to our campus and programs. It brings in some extra revenue for the school and staff,” Graceffo said. “It helps the school’s students as well as kids from the surrounding areas become better athletes.”

In the end, no matter what your basketball skills are, they will very likely improve after attending this camp, and even if they don’t, at the very least the individual will have fun and meet lots of potential friends, which isn’t bad in its own right.

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