Iraqi girls hoop it up at Pat Summitt camp

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Pat Summitt and her Tennessee Lady Volunteers staff routinely preach basketball fundamentals to campers - just not to players from Iraq.

There were 10 eager teenage Iraq girls at Summitt's annual camp this week, hanging on every word: games can't be won without defense and ball control is the foundation of good offense.

The Iraq contingent was in Knoxville from June 3 through Thursday as part of a U.S. Department of State exchange program. They toured Washington, attended a WNBA game and visited the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in addition to participating in Summitt's camp.

Unlike the American campers who have played basketball for most of their lives, the Iraqi girls have played organized basketball for only a year or two.

Most of them play on open-air courts in Iraq and get little game time during the hot summers.

Summitt said she was impressed with how easily the girls - who are from different parts of Iraq - came together to form a team.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.