Malik Monk joins High Five Camp this summer

The  summer is filled with basketball camps.

Most coaches hold their own.

But the high five camp brings 5 local high school coaches together.

This year, a special treat. An NBA player. Lepanto's Malik Monk is taking part.

June 18th through the 20th at Valley View.

Bay basketball Coach Brad Brannen was the one able to convince Malik to come on board, and the excitement is evident.

"Great thing for him to be able to do to come back to this area and meet so many kids. I think kids will have chill bumps the days he walks into the gym that day, that first day. I'll honestly say the day I got that phone call to say he was coming I was jumping up and telling everybody and I got chills just talking about it myself."

Brannen isn't the only coach on staff that's excited.

"That shows a lot about his character and where he come from and for someone to come back to give their knowledge and to help kids, that's going to motivate these kids," added Westside basketball coach Mark Whitmire.

Valley View's Jason Manchesterer and Nettleton's Mark McCord took things a step further.

"It's good for them (campers) to see those guys (NBA players) didn't just show up one day and happen for them. He's put in tremendous amounts of work," Manchester said.

"We watch more of the college game probably as coaches but these kids are watching NBA, watching NBA guys, emulating guys so I think that is huge to get Malik in here. I just think he's a huge role model for these young kids," McCord said.

And if you could see Coach Brannen's face it was all smiles when the conversation continued regarding Malik Monk joining the High Five camp for the summer.

"He's taken his time out to take pictures, he's going to take his time out to sign autographs, he's even going to give away shoes," Brannen said.

"I'm going to follow him around the first day to the different sessions. I just want to see the reaction of every kids that wants to meet Malik Monk and meet an NBA player and just see how they react to that."

The camp is going 7 years strong. Bay's Brad Brannen is the mad scientist behind this project. His buddies and fellow coaches help make it happen.

Nettleton's Mark Mccord, Brookland's Bobby Gross, Westside's Mark Whitmire and Valley View's Jason Manchester round out the brain trust.

McCord and Gross date back to Coach Catalina's camps at A-State.

Brannen, WHitmire and Manchester all came up around the same time as coaches.

Three of these four coaches worked under Coach McCord at one time.

The bond is strong.

"I think it is rare We are getting into society where it's a me society and these guys understand, we love basketball that's why we do it. We love working with kids I think this is a unique situation One of the only ones I know in Arkansas so it's a big deal to us, we don't take it lightly and we understand the impact we can have and just want to see the game of basketball grow," Whitmire said.

Manchest took a trip down memory lane. He's proud of where the camp is now. "Seven years ago we weren't sure what we were getting into but it's been so enjoyable to watch these kids at other schools at Westside or Nettleton or somewhere else in Northeast Arkansas watching those guys because you can see them develop."

For McCord and the rest of the coaches, the rapport among coaches and campers is certainly valued.

"Extremely good guys. This couldn't work everywhere. In Missouri. In southeast Missouri where I'm from, it's more cut-throat with the coaches. When we are on the court together, we are competitive but away from it, when we are working this thing we have a lot of fun, learn from each other, different drills."

These guys are competitive, serious about their profession but they like to cut up and have a good time too.

"Seven years. Dang we're getting old. MCCord. McCord needs a walker," Whitmire joked.

"I think we have as much fun as the kids do," a smiling McCord added.

"We are competitive on the court, nobody is more competitive than these four guys I work with and probably the most is Bobby Gross and he is practicing today. He's the only guy who couldn't get off because he's practicing."

Brannen agreed with McCord and added some humor to the afternoon.

"The first year we did it, we probably didn't share as much. I think as the years went on, we all shared a lot of things. The joke is Coach Whitmire is the one that shares the least because he likes to hold on to all his stuff."

For more information on the camp go to https://bbrannen.wixsite.com/bbbasketball

Session I

JUNE 18-20

BOYS AND GIRLS @ VALLEY VIEW

AGES 6, 7, 8 YR. OLD

FROM 8:30 AM TO 11:00 AM

Session II

JUNE 18-20

BOYS AND GIRLS @ VALLEY VIEW

AGES 9, 10, 11, 12 YR. OLD

FROM 12:00 PM TO 3:00 PM

Session III

JUNE 18-20

BOYS AND GIRLS @ VALLEY VIEW

GOING TO 7TH - 9TH GRADE

FROM 3:00 PM TO 5:30 PM

Session IV

JUNE 18 ONLY

BOYS AND GIRLS @ VALLEY VIEW

GOING TO 10TH - 12TH GRADE

FROM 6:00 PM TO 7:30 PM