During her four-year career at the University of Utah (2010-14), Michelle Plouffe was a three-time All-Pac-12 Conference selection and finished as the school’s all-time rebounding leader and second in points and blocks.
The 6-foot-4 forward, who competed for Canada at the 2012 London Olympics, was drafted by the WNBA’s Seattle Storm and has played professionally in France for the past three seasons, will be back in Salt Lake City next week hosting a basketball camp aimed at sharing some of her skills, knowledge and passion for the game with girls from kindergarten to high school.
The Michelle Plouffe Basketball Skills Camp will take place June 12-14 at the new Utah Athletic Center in North Salt Lake. The first two days will be for kids from kindergarten through eighth grade, while the last day will be for high schoolers.
Plouffe’s camp was somewhat the brainchild of former Utah Runnin’ Ute Jarred DuBois, who is also helping run one later this month with former Runnin’ Ute and current Toronto Raptor Delon Wright at the same location.
“I thought it would be a good opportunity to do one with girls basketball as well because this was my city for four years,” Plouffe said by phone from Canada on Tuesday. “I love Salt Lake City, and I wasn’t aware of a lot of these kinds of camps while I was there — if they’re available to girls and whatnot.”
The camp will be the third one Plouffe has run since her collegiate playing days. She’s done two in Canada with her twin sister Katherine, who played at Marquette University.
“Doing them the last couple years in Edmonton, I really enjoy doing things like this and coming back to the areas I’ve lived in and kind of giving back in this way and getting to know the girls and just being involved in some way in their basketball journey or life at any point,” she said. “It’ll be a great opportunity.”
Plouffe said a big reason she enjoys conducting the camps especially for girls is because she remembers what it was like to be involved in athletics as a youngster.
“I like working with girls because I know it’s tough,” she said. “Being a girl in sports especially is not the easiest thing when you’re growing up, so it’s something that I have a passion for.”
Following this camp and a third one with her sister in August, Plouffe will be focused on looking for a new place to play. She has been with two French clubs since being waived by the Storm in 2014, the second of which she was teammates with countrywoman and former Ute great Kim Smith Gauchner.
“I want to try a different league and a different country,” she said. “It’s comfortable (in France), but I feel like it’s time to be stretched and challenged, so I think going to a new country would be a good thing for me right now.”
As far as the camp goes, Plouffe feels as though she could approach it with high expectations that all participants learn specific things, but she wants to keep it more grounded.
“I just always want it to be a learning experience and for the girls to get something out of it, whether it’s an on-the-court or off-the-court thing,” she said. “I think that if it’s an environment where they feel empowered to try something new and learn something new and they feel comfortable doing that, then I think that’s all I would want out of it...as long as they have fun and they learn something, I’ll be happy.”
To reserve a spot at Plouffe’s camp, visit www.utahathleticcenter.com or jdsportsacademy.com.