Or, at least, that's how it felt to the athletic 7-footer anyway.
"It was kind of a shock at first," Kaleb Tarczewski said. "I got a call
on Wednesday (June 16) saying I could go, so I didn't get to be there
for the first day of activities (June 17) because my plane didn't get
there until almost 10."
The benefits of the annual camp are well known. Each year, 100 of the
top high school basketball prospects in the country are invited to work
out with current and former NBA players to hone both their bodies and
minds. Through intense drill work and team competition, they improve
their games and showcase their skills. Through classroom work and
discussions with the NBA athletes in attendance, they learn of the
maturity level life in The League requires.
On the court, though Tarczewski is his toughest critic, the East Coast
product drew positive reviews for his athletic and physical play in the
post – particularly on the defensive end.
"Defensively I think I played okay," he said. "I think I played fairly
well, so it was a good weekend."
That he was invited to the camp is testament to how far he has come in
a short window of time. Before his sophomore year at the St. Mark's
School in Southborough, Mass., he admits he didn't have much in the way
of basketball experience.
But under the tutelage of mentors like St. Mark's Head Coach Dave
Lubick, and with countless hours spent in the weight room and on the
court, he's blossomed into one of the fastest-rising players in the
Class of 2012.
"It's been a lot of work," Tarczewski said. "But it's paying off."
Is it ever. As of June 15, college coaches are now allowed to place one
phone call a month to prospects who are juniors-to-be, and to say
Tarczewski's phone has been ringing off the hook might be something of
On the other end of the line? Coaches like Kansas' Bill Self, West Virginia's Bob Huggins, Georgetown's John Thompson, Ohio State's Thad
Matta and Duke's Mike Krzyzewski.
Though he doesn't know when he might start trying to narrow things down
in his recruitment, one thing Tarczewski is sure of is that he'll have
people who care about him – people like his parents and Lubick –
helping him make the choice that's best for him.
Right now, he's simply staying grounded and playing basketball.
"I've been working hard and I'm around the right people," he explained.
"And I think that's why (these opportunities are) happening."
Head Down, Working Hard
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