MITCHELL — A former Huron High School basketball standout has become part owner of a basketball camp that he participated in as a youngster.
Chris Gubbrud, a 1998 graduate of HHS, joined Eric Skoglund as the owner/operators of the legendary Hansen-Anderson Basketball Camp for the first time in 2017.
“It was a chance to be a part of South Dakota basketball history,” said Gubbrud, who is now an assistant coach for the Mitchell basketball program. “This is the 39th year of the camp, which I attended growing up in Huron, and it is rich with so many stories about South Dakota basketball. It sounded like something fun to be a part of.
“One of my biggest passions in basketball is skill development, and I love talking with players and coaches about ideas and techniques that help players improve individually and get more out of the game,” he said. “One great thing about basketball is that it is an infinite game and new ideas are created all the time.”
Basketball has been a big part of Gubbrud’s life journey. After graduating for HHS he attended Huron University for two years before transferring to Mt. Marty College in Yankton for the final two years of his collegiate career.
Gubbrud spent one season as a student assistant for the Lancers before embarking on his high school basketball coaching career in both the boys’ and girls’ ranks. He coached one year in Marion, five years in Ethan as the girls’ basketball coach, a year at Council Bluffs – Thomas Jefferson, six years at Bon Homme and last season as an assistant boys’ basketball coach in Mitchell.
Gubbrud has also coached the South Dakota Heat during the summer and has assisted with many basketball camps since his first season as a player for Mount Marty in 2000.
The Hansen-Anderson Basketball Camp was started in 1979 by Dick Hansen. He led the camp for several seasons with assistance from several coaches from throughout the state of South Dakota.
The camp was based for numerous years at the Huron Arena, but has since been relocated and is held at the Christen Family Recreation and Wellness Center on the Dakota Wesleyan University campus in Mitchell.
“The camp is attractive to players, because it allows you to go through two and a half days of intense skill development with live game action at night,” Gubbrud said. “We are trying to provide kids with skill development drills they can take home and use to get better.
“It is also a unique opportunity for kids to go live on a college campus with kids their age for a few days doing something they enjoy — basketball,” he said. “The kids have a blast staying in the dorms and talking hoops, watching movies and building relationships with new friends.”
Gubbrud sees the camp’s main focus — individual skill development — as being an integral part of the trek to success for most players. He believes individual skill development is something that is being overshadowed with the current trend of playing on a travel/AAU team throughout the summer.
“Kids should play as much as they can, but players — especially middle and high school players — need skill work to improve on shooting, dribbling, passing and defense. Ideally, kids would work on skill work during the week and play games on weekends,” Gubbrud said. “Skipping the skill work is like trying to take a test without doing the homework. Playing one weekend in the summer or at one team camp might get you a handful of shots or touches on the offense, which makes it hard to improve, where a skill workout for one hour gets you hundreds of shots and a chance to work on your game.
“Speaking as someone who wants to grow the game in our state, I hope players take advantage of all the opportunities provided to them, from coaches willing to work with them, skill trainers, camps and so on,” he said. “Just playing in games will not get you playing at your own personal best.”
With the 2017 version of the Hansen-Anderson Basketball Camps being recently completed, planning for future camps will begin in the near future.
“We are planning on some changes, next year we will take a close look at the dates of the camp,” Gubbrud said. “We are also hoping to do some satellite camps, along with the main Hansen-Anderson Camp next year and travel to gyms across the state to work with teams on offensive skill development.”