Hoops Camps Drive Former Husky

SEATTLE - Puget Sound youth have a compelling new offering among the multitude of youth basketball camps and clinics this summer - The Eldridge Recasner Basketball Academy. The former three-time All Conference Husky standout graduated to a successful NBA career.

Now a father of four, Recasner has turned his attention to teaching the game he loves.

"The first camp is going to be for sixth, seventh, and eighth-grade boys and girls, and is mainly focused on teaching the kids the fundamentals of the game," Recasner recently explained to Dawgman.com. "I know a lot of folks are trying to find things for their kids to do, a lot like myself, so they're always looking for camps to put them in. I'm just looking to share my knowledge and my love and passion for the game of basketball with kids who want to learn how to play."

According to his website, a skill-builder program is also offered for boys and girls ages K-5. This program will meet once a week for eight weeks, and will train boys and girls from K-2 in one group and boys and girls from 3-5 in another group. Recasner is also opening up a Friday Night Hoops program.

"I got that idea from my old coach, Andy Russo," he shared. "He thought that would be a great way to get started by offering some Friday night hoops stuff. It's grown from there.

"I think it'll be pretty awesome. That will strictly be a lot of playing, with a little instruction sprinkled in - but mostly it's about getting out there and having fun."

Recasner wants to keep the groups small. "I'll probably max out at 30 kids or even 24," he said. "I want to keep it intimate. I'm not just putting my name on it and then having someone else run it. I want to be out there with the kids so that they can get the most out of it."

Recasner founded the camps based on his own experiences growing up in New Orleans with few options beyond learning on the half-courts of the streets.

"When I look back on my career, I learned on the playground through trial and error," he said. "If I would have had the chance to learn from a former NBA player when I was 13 or 14 years old, who knows what I could have done.

"The mission of the Eldridge Recasner Basketball Academy is to help kids of all ages and skill levels become the best basketball players they can be. Over time this can be accomplished through hard work, quality instruction and repetition. There will be an emphasis on stressing the FUNDAMENTALS of basketball, which I believe is the foundation of all successful players.

"Kids want to play first and foremost, but you can't become a great player without a strong foundation, which is good fundamentals. My approach is to find a way to balance fun with fundamentals, because that's really the key."

Eldridge also plans on utilizing his network of friends and former teammates to enhance the program's attractiveness. Every camp will feature a guest speaker who is a athlete, coach or celebrity. Lenny Wilkens has been confirmed as a guest speaker at one of the camps, as well as Shawn Kemp. Paul Fortier, and KJR950 radio personalities Dave 'Softy' Mahler and Elise Woodward.

"We'll bring in some former NBA players, and even though the instructional part is probably the part kids like the least, it's the most important part." he said.

The first ERBA basketball camp is June 27-30th for boys and girls grades 6-9, and Jamal Crawford of the Atlanta Hawks will be the guest speaker. Each day the camp will run from 9 am-5 pm. On July 5-8th a camp will be available for boys and girls grades 3-5, and Will Conroy will be the guest speaker.

For more information on the Eldridge Recasner Basketball Academy, as well as other programs, visit online at eldridgerecasner.com.

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