June was an awfully busy month for Billy Garrett, Jr. It was a month where he literally went from coast-to-coast across the country. The class of 2013 prospect and future DePaul guard started out his month at the Pangos All-American camp in Southern California.
From there Billy went to the prestigious NBPA Top 100 camp in Charlottesville, Virginia. The NBA Players Association only sends invitations out to the top 100 high school prospects in the nation. There he learned from coaches like John Lucas and Dirk Minniefield.
"It went well," Garrett said of the NBPA Camp. "I liked the instruction. It was organized and the competition level was high. It was good."
The next stop for Billy was back to his home in Chicago where he competed with his Morgan Park High School teammates in the DePaul team camp at ATTACK Athletics.
Garrett sat out the first day of the camp, but then led the Mustangs to the camp championship on the second day.
"It means a lot," Garrett said of winning the title. "I'm going to DePaul, so I wanted to take it home. It's my last chance to get it. It means a lot doing it with these guys."
A few days later, Garrett found himself back at ATTACK Athletics for the Deron Williams Skills Academy. Nike invited the nation's 18 best point guards to the Chicago camp to learn from NBA star Deron Williams.
"It was great," said the 4-star point guard said of the camp. "It's very instructional. You get a lot in a small amount of time. I'm learning from coaches who coached in the NBA. There are a lot of little things that go into basketball that I didn't really know about before."
Deron Williams doesn't just lend his name to the camp, he was in the gym working with the campers on a daily basis.
"What really impressed me is his work ethic," Garrett said of Williams. "He's a hard worker and has intensity in his workouts. I try to see how he thinks the game. I try to pick up on those things he does and how he uses his body, because I'm a big guard like him. So I try to pick up on those things."
Garrett isn't done with the camps either. Later this week, he will be in Las Vegas at the LeBron James Skills Academy.
Once the summer is over, Garrett will be back at school for his senior year with the Morgan Park Mustangs. Garrett's junior year was a bit of an adjustment. With the graduation of Wayne Blackshear, Garrett took over the role of the team's leading scorer.
"It was a challenge," said Billy. "I've been a go-to guy before, but I had to learn to how to come out there every night and produce. If I didn't produce, then we weren't going to win. It was a great experience and something I needed. Now this year, I've got some help coming in. Hopefully, we'll be able to be to get it all back."
Garrett will have help in Hyde Park transfer Kyle Davis, who is also his backcourt mate with the Mac Irvin Fire AAU program.
Billy is often asked about recruiting some of his Mac Irvin Fire teammates to DePaul.
"I get it a lot," said Garrett. "I'm trying to get anybody on our AAU team. Really we're good enough to where if those guys alone stayed together (for college), we'd be really, really good. I'm working on the Mac Irvin Fire."
Garrett was also promoting the DePaul program to some of his fellow campers at the Nike Skills Academies.
"Just because I'm working on the Fire, doesn't mean I don't talk to these guys," said Billy. "I talk to all these guys. I brag about Chicago a little bit and tell them how nice it is. I especially talk to the guys who haven't picked a school yet. I'm working on anybody who can play that's willing to come. I'm not turning anybody down."
Garrett understands that in the game of basketball you can never be content, you always have to strive to get better. Which of course is why he's been some busy at these camps for the last month. Billy will continue to strive to improve even after he arrives on DePaul's campus next summer.
Hoops Camps Occupy Garrett's Life
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