Warhorses, Warlassies host basketball camp ahead of 'Shootout'

Fred McCormick
Black Mountain News
Players on the Owen High girls basketball team work on a motion offense drill that coach Aaron Fernandez, left, leads recently.

A basketball camp at Owen High School Saturday, Oct. 21, will give kids from fifth- to eighth-grade a chance to work on their skills - and give their parents an opportunity to support a worthy cause.

The Warhorses and Warlassies will host the camp from 9 a.m.-noon. Participation is $15 per child. The money raised will be donated in November by the Owen teams prior to the Coaches vs. Cancer Shootout at UNC Asheville’s Kimmel Arena.

The annual tournament, sponsored by the N.C. Basketball Coaches Association, the National Association of Basketball Coaches, the American Cancer Society and Krispy Kreme, brings plenty of teams from the throughout the region to play on the UNCA Bulldogs home court.

The basketball camp - the first at the school for head coaches Aaron Fernandez and Clint McElrath - will be one of the ways the Owen teams raise money.

“Every dime we raise goes straight to the American Cancer Society,” said Fernandez, named the Warlassies head coach after Tim Raines retired earlier this year. “Each team will raise money, and the night before the game, we’ll participate in a big banquet and present the check.”

Each team playing in the tournament picks a “hero” to represent in the tournament, according to Fernandez.

“We’re playing for Crystal Shirk, our trainer who just finished her first year of cancer treatment,” Fernandez said. “Everything we’re doing in preparation for this is in honor of her.”

The camp will feature Warhorses and Warlassies coaches and players working with the kids who sign up on the fundamentals of the game.

“We’ll be doing some one-on-one drills, some three-on-three stuff and a lot of shooting and passing drills,” Fernandez said. “There will also be some time for some free play.”

Fernandez said he’s honored to have the opportunity to participate in a fundraiser for such a worthy cause. Those interested in registering may do so by contacting Chasity Simpson in the main office at Owen High, or on-site the day of the camp. 

“Everybody knows somebody who has been affected by cancer,” Fernandez said. “If we can just raise enough money to help one person, then it’s well worth it.”