Marcus Melvin, Scooter Sherrill, and Anthony Grundy were all in town last week volunteering their time at the Herb Sendek Basketball Camp. The camp features first-hand tutelage by former and current Wolfpackers, as well as coach Sendek himself.
"We have had a nice cross section of our guys," said Greg Moreland, Director of Basketball Operations. "We think the world of them. It's great to have them around. We're very, very pleased and grateful that the guys that have left the program feel great about coming back, and giving back. It speaks really well of them."
Grundy, class of 2000, and Sherrill and Melvin, class of 2004, took time out of their busy schedules playing basketball abroad to come home and spend time with some of their biggest little fans. Their time included coaching one of eight youth teams competing against each other, culminating in a playoff on the last day. As fate would have it, last week's Herb Sendek Basketball Camp Championship came down to a matchup between teams coached by Melvin and Sherrill. Sherrill's underdog squad gave it their all, but ultimately lost by a basket to Melvin's dominant team.
The final session of this year's Herb Sendek Basketball Camp will be July 24-28. To register or learn more, view the camp brochure at GoPack.com, or call (919) 784-8181.
Pack Pride was able to catch up with Melvin, Sherrill, and Grundy after the camp to answer some questions.*****
Marcus Melvin was last playing basketball overseas in the Philippines, where he joined the team late in the season. Described as a "one-man army" by the local press, Melvin tallied 21 points and 20 rebounds in his team's final playoff game. In seven games, Melvin led the league with an average of 30.0 points per game, and was second with 18.0 rebounds per game.
How did you like it in the Philippines?
It was cool, the competition was alright, so it was a good time.
What was the competition like compared to the ACC?
Whenever you go to any level of pro basketball, you know, it kind of gets more competitive and tougher. You're playing for money, you know what I'm saying, so it's going to be tougher and more competitive. For the most part, it was a tough league.
What are you going to do after this camp?
I might have to go overseas again. My agent was talking to a lot of NBA teams, and they want to see me in one spot, for a whole season. I jumped around a little bit last year, I went to three different places. I was in Portugal, Lebanon and the Philippines. I did real good at every place, but I felt like for my future I just have to be in a stable situation.
Did you enjoy getting to go around the world a little bit?
Yeah. I think it was good to see different levels of basketball. It helped my confidence out a lot because I was able to go to three different countries and play three different types of competition, and in all I did real well, so it helped me out a lot.
You had some really huge numbers in your last stop in the
Philippines. Was that a product of that confidence?
I think so. You know, I guess being a versatile player, it really helped out a lot, because [my team] really depended on me, and I feel like for me to go over there and come in only a few days before a game and really produce, I felt like I did real good.
What do you like about coming back and helping out with the
I just like kids, I like to just have fun, you know what I'm saying? Just to see those guys run up and down the court and just have fun, and they are real competitive, you know, those kids are real competitive! And I feel like being back here, just being able to come back to the school that I played for, and being able to give back some of the things that I learned coming up in college, is just fun to me.
It sounds like your team had a pretty good day today. Does that mean
you're a better coach than the other guys?
Nah, you know, I just told my guys to go out there and play hard, that's all. And that's what they did. And you know, I had the franchise on my team, I had a guy on my team, boy, he couldn't do any wrong! He hit everything [laughs]. It was real fun. Me and Cameron [Bennerman], we were part of the winning team throughout the whole week, so it was real good. With all the traveling, to be able to come home and settle down, and come up here and see kids running up and down the court, I mean, I enjoy it a whole lot. I just enjoy the game of basketball.
How's Chastity doing? [Chastity Melvin, Marcus'
first cousin and former Wolfpack women's standout]
She's still with the Mystics [in the WNBA], she's doing real good. I just had dinner with her two or three days ago, and she's doing real good. You know, hopefully, after her WNBA career is overwith, we might play in the same country overseas, so that would be great for me and her.
Scooter Sherrill was last playing in Australia in the for the Cairns Taipans in the highly-regarded NBL. Playing alongside former Duke player Chris Burgess, Sherrill has made a name for himself in the NBL with his defense.
How did you like it in Australia?
It was alright, it was alright. Nothing's like home, but I had a good experience and a good time. I went to Italy for a little while, and I wasn't really finding that I liked it too well, because they didn't speak any English, but you go to Australia, they speak English, the language we speak, so it was really easy for me.
Are you going to go back?
You know, if the NBA doesn't work out, I'll be probably be going over to Europe. But I want to test the NBA waters first. I'm going to try to get on an NBA summer league, and if that doesn't work, I'll probably try the NBDL or something, so I can work my way up, and if not, I'll go back to Europe.
It's got to be frustrating to see some of the guys playing in the
NBA, and knowing you are probably better than them.
Yes. Yes, it's very frustrating. You know, you see a lot of guys that get drafted, and a lot of guys that get on [a team], but at the same time, that's how it has been for years, you have to keep working and hopefully you'll get a call.
Did you get to catch any NC State games last year?
Very few. I got back from Australia kind of early and I got to see the last game of the season against Wake Forest, and I'd seen the tournament. It was good to see us winning.
Were you glad to see State beat UConn?
Oh, very glad! We owed UConn, you know. I didn't get a chance to play in the first game, but we got a chance to play them again, and got revenge, sort of, so it made me feel real good.
Anthony Grundy last competed in Venezuela for the club Panteras, where in the playoffs he was second in the league in assists with 4.67 per game, and fifth in the league in scoring at 20.5 per game. Grundy is also playing with Chucky Brown for the Style in the Chavis league this summer in Raleigh.
How did you like Venezuela?
It was OK, not bad, not bad at all. I may go back there very soon, but earlier in the year I was in Sweden and Israel. I was all over the place.
How did you like it in Israel?
It was alright, I really liked Israel. Venezuela was very little English.
Are you considering the CBA or NBDL?
Big-time considering. The reason why is because I feel like, you need to open an eye or two to make it to the next level. Just to stay over here, compete a little bit more over here, whether it be in the minor leagues or a summer league. I'll just see what's going on, because I've never played in the NBDL, so it is something that I'm really thinking about.
What do you like about coming back to the camps and helping out the
Well everything is for the kids. When you are looked up to you always feel like you want to come back and just kind of give back. I know a lot of our fans and the [coaching staff], they gave us opportunities and loved us and helped us grow as people and individuals, and I want to come back and give to their kids. It is good to work with parents and be on campus and see people that kind of helped us mature into adults.
Since you have been away from NC State for three years now, do all the kids still know who you
Most of them do. A couple parents told me they still have stuff from when they last saw us. That's something I always want to do is come back, regardless if it is two years or fifty years, I just want to come back, and help the program as much as I can.
It seems like Coach Sendek does a good job of keeping everybody in touch and
you guys really want to stick around and stick together.
I think so. It is kind of a family tree. You want to know everybody on that family tree, regardless of if they are young or old. I think the guys do a good job of talking to one another, knowing where everybody is. It is good to have that network, that family network.
Did you get to see NC State's run in the NCAA
I didn't get to see it, but I enjoyed hearing about it. My thing was you have to get past that hump. I feel like there was a hurdle for us, and when we beat UConn I was very excited, especially beating such a well-respected program like UConn, which was tremendous in itself. I was very excited for those guys.