Students from the Napa County Office of Education’s Camille Creek Community School are learning about basketball from one of the best high school teams in the country, Napa-based Prolific Prep Academy.
Players from Prolific Prep – which reached the semifinals of the season-ending Grind Session High School World Championship in Owensboro, Kentucky in March – are taking time to instruct the Camille Creek students in dribbling, passing, shooting, footwork, and drills focused on skill development.
It’s a partnership formed after a meeting between Napa County Office of Education’s Superintendent of Schools Barbara Nemko and Prolific Prep founder Jeremy Russotti. The clinic concludes with Prolific Prep players and students from Camille Creek sitting down together for lunch.
“Prolific Prep has kind of adopted our kids at Camille Creek and they mentor them,” Nemko said Tuesday during a clinic at the Napa Christian Campus of Education gym. “So it’s not about the basketball so much as it is about the relationships. Our kids are playing basketball, which is a great way to relate to another person. You’re part of a team. They’re part of a team.”
Camille Creek Community School is a small alternative school serving approximately 120-150 students at any given time, according to the Napa County Office of Education’s website, napacoe.org. There is a middle school and four self-contained high school classrooms, with class sizes limited to 21 students.
Camille Creek has two basketball teams for its high school-age players and plays in the Optimist Youth League.
Camille Creek is part of NCOE’s juvenile court and community schools program, which serves the educational needs of students who are under the protection or authority of the juvenile court or those who are referred from school districts due to truancy, behavioral issues or expulsion, according to napacoe.org. Camille Creek is a student service program.
“I think this is something that is great that Barbara started with this,” said Philip Rico, a fitness coach with NCOE. “This is great for our kids. It gives them a lot of confidence. I notice when we come out here with these guys, they do better in school. They’re more focused academically. Our kids are just excited to keep coming down here and getting with these guys. It’s all about these kids, and they love it.”