Basketball camp’s goal ‘to teach basketball the right way’

West Boca Raton boys basketball coach Nate Vera is spending his summer coaching. That’s no surprise.

But his focus extends beyond grade-school summer campers and high school players looking to sharpen their skills in the offseason.

Vera, who spent three seasons at Forest Hill and one as an assistant coach at Cardinal Newman before taking over at West Boca Raton in April, also works with coaches through his Perseverance summer camps.

He started the program last summer in an effort to help young ballplayers build fundamentals, but also provide an outlet for coaches to learn and network with one another.

Many of Vera’s summer camp instructors are travel, middle school and high school basketball coaches hoping to improve their teaching skills.

“The goal is to teach basketball the right way,” Vera said. “The reason why I started this company was to bring better basketball to Palm Beach.”

Opportunities for basketball coaches to improve their skills through coaching clinics are limited in Palm Beach County, Vera said, leaving many coaches without the blueprint they need to build their players’ skills, and also network with other coaches.

“Basketball has gotten away from the fundamentals — particularly in Palm Beach County — to the influx of trainers and travel basketball not teaching the game the correct way,” Vera said. “The domino affect is that when students get to our high schools and are attempting to play for us, many of them have major holes in their fundamental game due to being taught the incorrect way at a young age.”

Vera has gathered a diverse group of coaches to staff his summer camps, among them high school coaches including Lake Worth head coach Murray Smith, Boynton Beach head coach Ken Mitchell, Somerset Canyons head coach Horace Smith and Wellington assistant coach John Saint Juste.

“As a young high school coach, I am always looking to improve and learn from veteran coaches in the area,” said Saint Juste, whose Wolverines advanced to the Class 9A state semifinals last season. “Perseverance Basketball provides that for all coaches in Palm Beach County.”

Four sessions remain in this summer’s Perseverance basketball camp schedule. Sessions will be held at Trinity Christian Academy (July 10-14); Cardinal Newman High School (July 17-21); Mandel JCC, Palm Beach Gardens (July 31-Aug. 4); and Levis JCC, Boca Raton (Aug. 7-11).

Camps are open to boys and girls ages 6-16.

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