Sunday, September 18, 2011

All American Prodigy Camp Lifts Off In Arizona

From all reports, a new brand of camp debuted yesterday in Phoenix (Mesa), Arizona. With the gym of storied Mesa High with it's great history of Division One players and State Championships as a backdrop the campers went to work.  With a capacity of 60 campers, 50 actually attended the inaugural Arizona Camp and were treated to a day of "blood, sweat and knowledge".  The NCCA defines recruitable athletes as beginning in the the grade so we had an assortment of players from the 7th-12th grade in attendance.

The camp was headlined by motivational and informational speakers as Coach Max Ivany of D1Nation, Coach Shane Burcar of Mesa, Coach Mark Nelson of Grand Canyon University and Coach Dedrick Taylor of Arizona State University spoke about recruiting and basketball in general.  Parents walked away with significantly more knowledge about how to maximize their child's chances for success at having an opportunity to reach the next level of play. The staff included several high school coaches; Coach Velaszco of Mesa, John Ortega of Desert Mountain and Bob Henige of Joy Christian.  Coach Henige handled the bigs and was an NAIA All American and overseas pro back in the day.  I can't thank these coaches enough for sharing their experience and expertise with the players and their families.

A big thank you also goes out to my friend, former Harlem Globetrotters GM Chad Groth. Groth was on hand writing for  He also runs Area Codes Scouting Service and puts on an excellent Academic Showcase in Phoenix.  It will be held next Sunday, September 25th at Copper Canyon High School in Glendale, AZ.  Be there!

The All American Prodigy Camp is a teaching model and not a showcase style event.  The players had plenty of opportunity to showcase their skills through the series of stations and drills in the morning session. When the afternoon began it turned to competitions as 3 on 3 "no dribble" champs were declared, 3 on three champs, 2 on 2 champs and finally a hot shot shooting contest where an overall co-champion was declared after 4 rounds of shooting.  We'll recap the camp and some of it's top performers over the next couple of days.

The three on three "No Dribble" competition requires most players to totally re-evaluate their game and their thinking.  Most of today's youngsters are so in love with their dribble that when you take it awa from them they're like a deer in the headlights.  Credit to this group though as most of them made a noticable improvement as the drills went on and began to understand that moving WITHOUT the basketball is a huge part of being a success in this game.
From left to right: The trio of 2014 Christian Harris, 2013 Jordan Thomas of Mesa and 2014 Hugh Coles of Coronado combined lights out shooting, along with Thomas crashing the boards to win the "No Dribble 3 on 3".
In the regular Three on Three competition, a whole new set of players prevailed.  From left to right: 2014 Will Goff of Desert Mountain,  2012 Austin Cooke of Desert Mountain and 2014 Carlos Medina of Peoria rode the hot perimeter shooting of George to take top honors.
Stay tuned tomorrow for Part Two of our All American Prodigy Camp Report-Day 2