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Hoops Academy is back on track

The Dalles Wahtonka head basketball coach Bob Townsend has a vision of bringing a more profound love for basketball to the greater Columbia Gorge area.

He is taking action with an inaugural fall academy for boys for another session starting from 2-4:30 p.m. this Saturday at The Dalles Middle School.

“I am very excited about the Columbia Gorge Basketball Academy,” Townsend said. “The added time I can gain with future high school basketball players will allow me to instill the fundamental base that is imperative to a successful high school program.”

Last weekend, the first clinic was well-attended and featured tips and tricks to proper ball handling, footwork and other fundamental skills used in hoops games.

In this upcoming meeting, Townsend said the coaches and players would work further on shooting techniques.

The primary purpose of this academy/camp is to provide area youth the court time needed to improve their hoops skills.

Townsend said that the Academy is also used as an opportunity to provide training to youth coaches and to facilitate a melting pot for coaches to share drills and teaching techniques.

With those big plans in tow, Townsend has hopes to have participants from all local schools.

His thought is that basketball has become a year-round activity.

In remaining competitive with programs outside the area, some players sign up for traveling teams, which can be expensive.

Another issue Townsend notices is the lack of court time for fifth-through-eighth grade athletes.

“While we still think the traveling team experience can be valuable, this camp provides an additional opportunity for kids that want to play more basketball, but closer to home,” Townsend added.

The cost for the Fall Basketball Academy is $20 total.

For more information, call 541-980-8952 or email


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