Shaping Sequim’s sharpshooters

First camp draws nearly 50 basketball players

Sequim Gazette staff

Over three days, some of the peninsula’s youngest sharpshooters got a crash course while on the move.


Chris Thompson, co-coordinator of Sequim’s first Advantage Basketball Camp, brought 46 students from Sequim, Port Angeles and Chimacum together in the Sequim High School gym July 29-31 to hone their ball handling and shooting skills.


Thompson said players shooting on the move is a lost art.


“If they can do that, then I’ve done my job,” he said.


For 30 years, he’s taught shooting to people of all ages including professional as a former All American Junior College player from Huntington Beach, Calif. He’s even made his own instructional video endorsed by several pros like Bill Russell.


In Sequim, Thompson partnered with John Qualls to bring the camp here, which helped boys and girls ages 8-16 hone their offensive skills, ball handling and shooting fundamentals with some games intermixed. Defense was an important part, too.


“I don’t care if you score 30 (points). It’s about guarding the guy who can score 30,” he said.


Players range in ability and age, so some activities are separated by age and gender, but not all. Alisha Grasser, 13, and Shelby Jones, 14, both from Sequim, like playing against the boys in camp.


“Most of the boys think they are better than the girls,” Jones said. “I like being able to show them up.”

When asked if that were true, Grasser said, “Challenge accepted.”


Jake Sparks, 14, from Sequim, said the camp has helped him most with his dribbling and ball handling.

His favorite part though is going three on three and playing against the best players in camp because it makes him a better player.


Both Grasser and Jones said the camp has helped with their dribbling, too.


Qualls, who co-coordinated the camp, hopes this becomes a regular event that brings in players from across the peninsula so they can have a bigger draw to each event while improving local players.


Thompson continues to run camps through the summer in Anacortes, Coupeville and Whidbey Island. He and Qualls are considering a basketball shooting camp Thanksgiving weekend, too.


For more information, visit, call 425-670-8877, Qualls at 360-461-0482 or e-mail Costs apply for each camp.