"Be your own person but don't be afraid to steal bits and pieces of someone's else's game and put it into yours," Chris Paul, New Orleans Hornets star, told an assembly of top high school guards and wings at the CP3 Elite Guard Camp this month.
Paul, a native of Winston Salem, N.C., hosted the CP3 Elite Guard Camp Aug. 14-16 in his hometown. Nearly 40 players (almost half of which hailed from Paul's homestate) attended the second annual event. The Gold Medalist was hands on with his camp and took the time to teach, offer guidance and most of all, demonstrate his commitment to helping the next generation of talented players.
Paul spent the better part of three days harping on communication and character as well as working out with the campers. His participation set the tone for the experience and allowed kids to be interactive with one of the game's brightest stars.
Among the tidbits of advice Paul dished out were to make yourself an offensive threat as a point guard. He also hit on defense. "If you can't contain penetration, you can't play." Paul, as expected, had an attentive audience.
"You always hear that you can't change who you are" Kendall Marshall said. "Just being around him and seeing his family and how close they were you know he hasn't changed since high school. The main thing is I learned you have to keep a close circle and you can't change who you are."
Harrison Barnes, the nation's top small forward and a guy who may one-day play the role of big guard was the headliner and one of the hardest working guys in camp. For three days, Barnes distinguished himself and had his jumper cooking. He was the first guy to muster up the gumption to ask Paul a question. He was easily the most talented prospect in the building aside from the Hornets star. CP's team rattled off 16 straight points in 3-on-3 competition until Barnes's club ended the run.
Marshall's impressive summer camp run continued. As the leader of teams at the NBA Camp and CP's event, Marshall's team lost a combined one game at both venues. As he did at the NBA Camp, Marshall astutely guided his team to the camp championship. His teammates were Deuce Bello, Aaron Craft (had the jumper working), Travis McKie (made a game-winning shot) and Brennan Wyatt (a Division I senior).
Bello and junior Bishop Daniels were responsible for the camp's most entertaining moment. In between sessions, an impromptu slam-dunk contest broke out. Bello and Daniels were so good and creative that no one else dared to step on the floor and challenge them. Talk about elite level leapers!
Ray McCallum: Those who spent time around him astutely noted his ability as a leader. A strong understanding of the game permeates from him. He's got a competitive edge.
Ian Miller, PG/SG: All you need to know is that CP was impressed with his ability to drive it and score. Miller is often labeled a shooting guard but we think he'll transition into scoring lead guard in college as he could play as the point or alongside one.
Trevor Releford: Maybe the best handle, at least the slickest of the senior point guards. He was a load to deal with in the three-on-three games.
Phil Pressey: Competitive guy who finished the summer strong. He's got an advanced floor game and puts a ton of pressure on defenses with his speed and drives.
Markel Starks: Love the direction his jump shot is going. Demonstrated the ability to knock it down from deep and was successful from mid-range. Had a great attitude all weekend.
Bruce Ellington: Obviously has a major decision: football or basketball? He took a few days off from the gridiron and displayed elite speed and strong finishing ability. He doesn't have the bounce Nate Robinson had in high school but they are ironically similar in build and both faced the football decision.
Quinn Cook: Demonstrated an improved jump shot. He's one of those guys that others seem to enjoy being around and has a presence at his position.
P.J. Hairston, SG: The jump shot is his calling card and he's beginning to show his personality on the court.
Marquis Rankin: Not quite 100 percent physically yet. Has an array of floaters and ways to score that he's developing. Fared well in the drill work.
Braxton Ogbueze: There's a poise and calmness to him. He's quietly distinguished himself in the settings he's been at this year.
Tyler Lewis: Same story: knows what he's doing and not only makes super decisions but will knock down shots. Has to get stronger to balance out his lack of size. Plays the game properly from the point position.
The campers bowled with CP the second night of camp. The best high school bowlers were P.J. Hairston and Chris Wilson. …
Emanuel Chapman has been working on his floater and showed more confidence in the shot. … Communication was emphasized daily and junior Chris Wilson was one of the more vocal campers in attendance. … Justin Cheek is destined to be an excellent mid-level player. His sister played at Duke, dad is an NFL referee and he's a guard who can score and get by guys. …
Travis McKie was one of the hybrid wings in attendance and as one of the bigger guys here was counted on to rebound. Once the games began he did just that with good energy and results. … Richard Daniels, a rising senior out of the W-S area is also a football player. He played excellent defense in the games. … Aaron Craft, like Marshall, knows how to find the winner's circle. He was confident with his jumper here. …
Tony Chenault and Tyler Thornton, a pair of ACC commitments, both boast winning high school resumes and worked hard during the drill sessions. Character guys … Demarcus Harrison made jump shots in the 5-on-5 setting. … Dezmine Wells was one of the strongest wings and best finishers at the event. … Aaron Toomey, a small school standout in N.C., benefited greatly from an event like this. He fared well in the final day when he was able to knock down jump shots. …
Elton Brand popped into camp and addressed the kids about feeding the post and how the guards can help the bigs be successful. …
"You gotta hate losing more than you like to win."