Millikin WBB Little Hosts Little Hoopsters


Millikin head women’s basketball coach, Lori Kerans strives to help her players become well-rounded individuals on and off the court. Their team motto for the year is “Family, Athletics, Basketball, Service.”

For the next few weeks, every women’s basketball player can be found at the Decatur Indoor Sports Center from 5:30 to 6:30 on Wednesday nights, volunteering at a program they call Little Hoopsters. The camps are run for 3-8 year olds, and they are completely run by the players. This gives the players a chance to give back to the Decatur community, even if they are not from the Decatur area.

At the camps, the players teach the aspiring athletes how to pass, dribble, shoot, and play defense. They also help to teach them how to stretch out their muscles before beginning to play, and they engage them in fun games such as Sharks and Minnows or Red Light, Green Light. At the conclusion of every camp, the leaders of each group send home a picture for their hoopsters to color as well as three things for their players to work on at home with their parents for the week.

Being a member of the women’s basketball team, I can attest to the fact that Little Hoopsters has been a great experience for me. In high school, I always volunteered at summer camps with my team, but Little Hoopsters is a little different. In high school, I knew most of the girls at the camps because I would see them at the softball diamond in the summers, they were friends with my little sister, or they had attended a previous camp. Here, I am six hours away from home, and the only kids I know are the ones I recognize from last year’s camps. They are also quite a bit younger than the girls that attended the camps I worked in high school. Overall, Little Hoopsters is a fun experience. The kids all have a ton of energy, and they are excited to spend time with all of us.

Last year, after one of the camps, I went out to dinner with some friends, and we happened to see one of our favorite Little Hoopsters. Seeing his eyes light up when he saw us, asking us if we played for Millikin, was such a cool experience. The kids that come to the camps look at us as if we’re celebrities.

The Millikin women’s basketball team expects to excel both on and off the court this season. They are off to a good start with Little Hoopsters, and they expect to only go up from here.