The squeak of sneakers and the bounce of basketballs once again emanated from the Spaulding Gymnasium on the campus of Shaw University.

The Bears once again put prospective players through the paces in their first basketball exposure camp.

“Just to hear the balls bouncing…” Shaw men’s basketball head coach Bobby Collins said with a smile. “Due to the pandemic, it has been a year and half almost for me, so I’m extremely pleased, especially with the turnout that we had today.”

Players from all over the state put their skills to the test from ball handling to shooting, to turn heads on Monday.

Shaw University men’s basketball coach Bobby Collins hosted a basketball camp for 36 players on Monday. (Christopher Clark/WNCN)

The action was fast and not for the faint of heart. Whistles were in short supply, as holding one’s own was the name of the game.

Those wondering if camps like these are worth it need look no farther than the coach himself.

“It’s extremely beneficial (and) I was a product of a camp just like this one (when I was younger), and because I went to that camp I got an opportunity,” Collins said. “It’s the same thing for these kids. What I just told them was an exposure camp like this, when you get an opportunity, you have to be ready.”

It has been 475 days since Collins took over the program after having lost all of last season due to COVID-19.

He has had plenty of time to think about how to rebuild his Bears — beginning with starting a junior varsity program to get kids involved at a younger age.

Collins said he wanted to mold and train players in order to feed his varsity team while being able to rely on the hotbed of talent right here in the Triangle to do it.

‘We are trying to recruit local talent, so having an exposure camp, we are able to get 36 kids here (and) 25 locally from Raleigh,” Collins said. “That is really good and I want to continue to recruit locally as well.”