Camp Season A Big Deal To Auburn Coach

Auburn's new coach, Bruce Pearl, explains why he enjoys working with young basketball players in a camp setting.

Auburn, Ala.--Auburn's new head basketball coach and his staff have a busy summer camp schedule set with six events planned for June and a prospects camp in late August.

"I love summer camps and we hope to develop our camps into something that can be really special," Coach Bruce Pearl tells Inside the Auburn Tigers.

"It's late so I don't know what our numbers will be, but I just remember growing up and being at Bob Cousy's basketball camp in Boston and the Lutheran High School basketball camp in New York City, and then every place that I had been as an assistant I had run the camps.

"Every camp, almost every camper that came to our camps, they were looking at our school, they were looking at our university," Pearl points out. "The vast majority of them weren't going to be on scholarship in college, but they were wearing our camp T-shirt and our university's colors and we got a chance to get them right and get them ready for the discipline, the academic demands, the training to making good choices, to doing what God would have you do as a young person, to inspire them, to motivate them, to train them to be able to maybe some day to come to the University of Tennessee or Auburn University or wherever we were hosting the camp."

The 2014 sessions begin with a day camp that runs June 1-4 for pre-schoolers up through seventh graders and it concludes with a one-day prospect camp on August 24th that Pearl will direct.

"I am going to be able to be out there with all of our campers that are pre-seventh grade because they are not considered prospects," points out the former University Tennessee coach, who can't have contact with potential prospects until after his sanctions from his time at Tennessee conclude.

"I will be there on a regular basis teaching, doing station work and I'm looking forward to it," Pearl says.

"Unfortunately, because of my show-cause I am taking myself out of the equation for the seventh graders or above because technically they are prospects and even though I am not recruiting them I'm trying to coach them. That contact right now is not permitted until August 24th.

From June 9-11th there will be a second day camp for pre-schoolers through seventh graders. On June 14-15th there will be a father/son camp followed by a camp on June 28-29 for high school teams and a one-day shooting camp on June 30th for pre-schoolers through seventh graders. More on the camps: Basketball Camps

"I think we are in a great location for camp, situated where we are geographically," says Pearl, who adds that he believes the events are memorable experiences for young basketball players.

"I can't tell you how many times when I'm in an airport and people recognize me," he says. "About half the time the people come up to me and say to me that I was at your camp when you were running the basketball fundamentals at the University of Iowa or some different place like that.

"They will say something like you yelled at me, you were upset with me because I didn't do this or that," Pearl says with a laugh. "And they loved me because they remembered being yelled at by an assistant at Iowa or the head coach at Milwaukee and it stuck with them."

Pearl notes that it is important to him that the campers leave the events as better players than they were when they arrived.

"If the kids can make a shot, if the kids can handle the ball, if they can have some greater level of success on the floor they are going to have more fun and they are going to enjoy it more," the coach says. "We feel such a responsibility to help coach them up and give them some of the skills and tools that they need to just enjoy the game more by having more success."

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