From June 26-29, it was time to hit the hardwood as boys basketball began its annual summer camp.

More than 230 athletes ranging from first through ninth grade were in attendance for the morning camps hosted by boys varsity coach Jonathan Ellis and eight other basketball coaches, ranging from Prosper middle schools to high school varsity assistants. It’s the sixth consecutive year hosting the camp for Ellis, who said he’s been impressed by its expansion.

“It seems to just keep growing each year, just like our community is,” Ellis said. “It’s an opportunity to bring new kids to the school district.”

The camps are hosted at the multiple courts provided at Prosper High School, including the main arena the varsity teams play home games every year. The camp is designed to keep kids moving and active, spending no longer than 15 minutes doing a specific game, drill or station. Not all campers are as serious as others about playing basketball competitively, so the main goal is to spark interest and get the kids excited about basketball.

Ellis and his staff look to teach valuable life lessons along the way as well. Before the camp concludes each day, the kids gather to talk about what they learned and to get some extra motivation from some familiar faces, including varsity players Zach Wrightsil, Josh Davis, Kyle Jessen and Caleb Adams.

“I have kids on my varsity team that I remember from back in their basketball camp days,” Ellis said. “There’s also kids right now at the camp that will be varsity players someday. It’s really cool to connect the two levels.”

Many of the coaches have kids of their own and relish the opportunity to have an impact on the lives of other young athletes. For Ellis, it’s about making individual connections and maintaining relationships that could grow even stronger once the kids are old enough to put on a varsity jersey.

“Some of these kids we only get to see once a year,” Ellis said. “It’s neat to see them the next summer, how they’ve grown a little bit taller, just seeing them change year-to-year.”

As camp attendance has grown, so have the crowds at Prosper home games throughout the season. Camps will continue each summer in hopes of getting more kids and families excited about Prosper athletics. The varsity seasons will begin in November.