Boys Basketball: Hubs return to the hardwood for summer camp

Junior Eli Luxton (right) and assistant varsity coach Jared Johnson (left) work on shooting form during the Rochelle Hub basketball team's summer camp Tuesday afternoon. (Photo by Russell Hodges)

Rochelle hosting two-hour sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays

ROCHELLE — The Rochelle Hub basketball program tipped off summer workouts Tuesday afternoon, with several returning student-athletes getting a jump-start on the upcoming season.

The summer skills camp will run on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4-6 p.m. at the Rochelle Township High School gymnasiums. The camp started on Tuesday, June 7 and will run through Thursday, June 30. Head varsity coach Tim Thompson said he and his staff will focus on several skills including fundamentals, setting and using screens, shooting, passing and post play.

“It’s nice to have our kids back in the gym and it’s now time for us to figure out what kind of athletes we have at all of our levels,” Thompson said. “We’re really going to focus on the fundamentals and skill development during the summer. We’ll play about 15 games between the sophomore and varsity teams this month before we let our kids go back to their AAU teams.”

The Hubs will look to follow a successful varsity season this past winter, where the team finished 22-11 overall while winning the Interstate 8 Conference and IHSA 3A Regional titles. After losing a large senior class including two First-Team All-Conference honorees (Ryan Simmons and Adam Kemp) and two All-Conference Honorable Mentions (Noah Brown and Tanner Lager), Thompson will lean on last year’s juniors to take a step forward this summer.

“We’re going to work on our ball handling, our passing and our shooting,” Thompson said. “One thing we really want to focus on, especially with more bigger kids in our program right now, is post-entry passing. I think it’s a weakness in high school basketball and it’s something we don’t do very well. Our returning post players will have to get more touches this coming season.”

Those players include senior forwards Raul Aguirre and Aidan Darby as well as junior Landon Mickley, who all participated in the first day of summer camp on Tuesday. Senior guards David Gerber, Colton O’Rorke, Landon DeLille and junior guard Eli Luxton were also active on the court Tuesday afternoon after earning their first years of varsity experience this past season. 

“David and Raul have already stepped into a leadership role for us,” Thompson said. “They’ve been active in our group text and making sure our kids are getting to their weightlifting sessions every morning. Eli will need to take a step forward next season and we’ll need to see some more from our juniors like Landon and our returning seniors like Aidan, Colton and Landon.”