The first half of July has been an intense experience and a privilege to have the chance to do such things. From the 2nd to the 4th I had practice at West Valley High School with my summer team, Eastern Washington Elite Blue. It went very well, and that's when we started coming together and playing like a team.
On the 5th I flew to Indianapolis to showcase my skills at the Nike All-America Camp. I flew with future teammate and friend Adam Morrison. We chatted, wondering what this camp was going to be like. It was an eye-popping experience. Two hundred of the best kids in the nation fighting for the spotlight, that's my explanation of the camp.
The first three days of the camp were schooling for 6 hours, and basketball at night. The basketball was mostly just practice, getting use to your team, and being there. The classes helped us with the SAT, or ACT, leadership skills, and teamwork. They drained you of energy just because of the thought process you had to put into them. Looking back though, I am glad they had those classes. They helped me learn some great skills, and gave me the chance to interact with people I usually wouldn't get the chance to.
The last three days of the camp were pure basketball. That's it. Nothing else. We had stations, shooting drills, 3-on-3, observing, and regular games. My 3-on-3 team won my division, and Derek Raivio also won his. We both had to play great competition to get there, though. It wasn't a walk in the park. That's how the camp was, you either had your game and looked good, or you didn't, and you were getting worked over by the other players in the camp. It was awesome! I love competition like that.
The best thing about the camp was getting to know Derek and Adam better. Adam and I were already good friends, but Derek and I had only met once. We hung out together every minute we could, and Adam and Derek were on the same team, so that was a perfect opportunity also. We had a lot of great laughs and we have some stories we'll be bringing up at GU for years to come.
Nike Camp was a privilege to attend and it showed all of us what we really needed to work on to be the best.
When I got back from Indiana, I headed to Seattle to watch my brother, Robert, play baseball. They didn't quite win the state championship, but he did well. On Friday, I went to the University of Washington to watch a couple friends hoop it up. I ran into Mr. Bill Nance, and told him all about my trips. Now there is a busy guy!
Saturday and Sunday I played at the Final Score Invitational and had the chance to watch some of the players that I didn't usually get a chance to see. The Zags were represented well at the tourney and showed why they are Zag Material. Derek is a great point guard who can really score against anybody and Adam showed his tough inside game against the best post players in the NW.
I am looking forward to the Las Vegas and L.A. tournaments and hopefully my team will pan out well. Later.
[For more on this, please visit the message board or visit TheFinalScore.tv and FadeawayJ.com. Zags Hoops wishes Pendo, Adam and Derek all the best as the future Zags lead their teams to Vegas and L.A. in the final half of July.]