There will be plenty of hoops action Friday and Saturday at Cass High School as 15 different schools will be represented in an annual boys basketball team camp. Varsity and junior varsity boys teams will compete in two days of games on three courts at Cass utilizing the main and auxiliary gymnasiums.
The team camp doubles as a Georgia High School Association training camp for basketball officials. Seventy current GHSA referees representing nine different officials associations from across the state will work the games under the tutelage of GHSA assignors and college officials.
Cass head coach Sean Glaze noted there will be plenty of top competition in the camp format games. “Of the fifteen teams participating, nine were state tournament teams last season,” said Glaze. “Two teams made the Sweet 16 and two were in the Final Four of their classifications.” Games are schedule hourly starting at 9 a.m. both days. Teams will play a pair of 20-minute running clock halves with normal clock stoppage in the final two minutes of each half. Players fouled will shoot one free throw for two points during the running clock to increase the action. Teams from Adairsville, Allatoona, Calhoun, Cass, Christian Heritage, Coosa, Cornerstone Prep Academy, Darlington, Excel Christian Academy, Kings Academy, Model, North Paulding, Rockmart, Sonoraville, and Southeast Whitfield will be in attendance.
There is no admission charge to watch the games and a concession stand will be available on both days. “It’s a great chance for coaches to work in new players, give them some experience, and see how they compete,” added Glaze. “Some teams are working on new offenses or defenses. It gives coaches and players a chance to get ready for next season’s competition.” As for the referees, top level college officials are assigned to each floor to help with the training of the high school officials. Led by long-time GHSA and college basketball referee and assignor Dock Sisk, a group of NCAA officials contribute to the camp to help train the high school officials. Sisk and his wife Nan have been Atlanta Tip-Off Club Naismith National Officials of the Year. They have officiated in the WNBA, Southeastern Conference, Atlantic Coast Conference, and several other conferences. They have also worked multiple NCAA tournaments and Nan has officiated in the Olympic Games. “The Sisks bring their expertise and provide a solid learning experience for the attending high school officials,” noted Clarissa Bagwell of the local Cherokee Basketball Officials Association. “They always bring us a strong collection of clinicians to help with the training of our newer and veteran officials alike.” The high school officials also have the opportunity to earn post-season eligibility by participating in the Cass camp or one of 23 other similar camps offered throughout the summer months across the state. "Just like players and coaches, the camp gives us an opportunity to improve and learn more," added Charles Wilson of Cherokee Basketball Officials Association. "We get a look at some of the newer officials and find out the latest techniques and mechanics from the visiting clinicians. The officials are paying a fee to be here, so they are striving to improve." The officials will work in three-person mechanics for one half per session and then do immediate video analysis with their clinician to focus on strengths and weaknesses. Officials will normally work about four halves over the course of each day. GHSA requires post-season eligible officials to participate in a sanctioned, summer "on-court" camp each year and requires varsity level officials to attend a sanctioned camp at least every other year.