Home Sports Ronald Ross hosts first basketball camp since taking over as Eagles head coach

Ronald Ross hosts first basketball camp since taking over as Eagles head coach

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New era

Ronald Ross hosts first basketball camp since taking over as Eagles head coach

PETER STEIN/NEWS-SUN

The torch was officially passed on Tuesday, as Ronald Ross began hosting his first summer basketball camp since taking over for Shelby Reeves as Hobbs boys head coach.

So, Tuesday can be considered Day 1 of the Ronald Ross era, and what a first day it was, as campers in first through ninth grade from throughout Lea County and well beyond flocked to the camp at Hobbs High School’s Ralph Tasker Arena.

Reeves was there to help run things, but it was Ross’ baby, his camp. And Ross was pretty happy about that.

“Actually, it’s bigger than what we expected it to be,” Ross said during a break from the camp Tuesday afternoon. “A lot of really excited kids from everywhere; we’ve got a lot of kids from Lovington, from Texas, Alamogordo, almost all of Lea County, you name it. So it’s pretty exciting to bring all these kids together.”

They are getting the tutelage of a man who had the tutelage of the man whose name is on the arena – Ralph Tasker. Ross also learned a lot from the legendary Bobby Knight, who coached him at Texas Tech in the early 2000s.

One of Ross’ mentors, Reeves, was in the building Tuesday, assisting with the drills and sometimes working with a microphone to help shepherd the attendees from here to there.

“I’m blessed that Coach Ross let me help out with his camp,” Reeves said. “This is my life, this is what I love to do. I love to be in the gym with these kids. This is the story ending; I’m done, but I’m not done yet until I’m finished with this camp.”

Which might actually be the most enjoyable camp of Reeves’ career.

“I’m on this end of it,” he said. “Coach Ross is the one running all over the place. So it’s fun.”

Hobbs senior-to-be Jairus Turrubiates, one of the many returnees Ross will have on the varsity this winter, was among the camp counselors on hand Tuesday to assist.

“It’s going great so far,” Turrubiates said. “These kids really want to learn, and it feels kind of good that they look up to us and they want to learn from a bunch of teenagers.”

Turrubiates thinks the camps will continue to run smoothly as they transition from Reeves to Ross.

“Both coaches have the exact same goal – to teach the kids,” Turrubiates said. “The energy and the passion is always there, and it feels comforting to know that someone like Coach Ross, like Coach Reeves before him, is still here doing that.”

Turrubiates and the other teenage players helping out were just as important to the camp as Ross, Reeves, and the other adult coaches, according to Ross.

“I always tell our players, ‘These kids really look up to you,’” Ross said. “They don’t really realize that being a junior or sophomore or senior, whatever the case may be, that these younger kids absolutely admire them. They’re role models; I think they’re starting to see that.”

Ross was the guy kids were running up to during their break, shaking his hand, bringing him their various problems of the moment. But that was OK with him, because it was part of the camp – which runs through Thursday – that is a huge positive for up-and-coming players.

“They’ve been responding well,” Ross said. “They’re really excited, they’re ready to have fun. For me I think it’s really important that we create events for the kids in our community to do something, instead of sitting at home.”

The attendees will have learned a lot by the time the camp wraps up late Thursday afternoon. What will the most important lessons be?

“We want them to have one or two basketball takeaways,” Ross said. “Like, ‘Hey, I really learned how to form-shoot, I really learned how to pass, I really learned how to dribble.’ We want them to take a fundamental away from it, whether it’s one or it’s five.

“But more importantly,” Ross added, “we want them to take the feeling. We want them to leave with a positive feeling, leave with the right attitude, leave saying they had a good time, leave saying they made a new friend or two. And that they learned how to be coachable.”

“The big thing is,” Reeves said, “that we’re giving them a lot of basic things. The message is, ‘You’re not going to be a professional player in three days. You’re going to have to work on these basics to become a basketball player.’”

“Basketball is not just about the training,” Turrubiates said. “That’s a big part of it, but a lot of it is about just having fun.”

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