Future Of Basketball Camps Is Clear & Cloudy

Scout.com's East Coast recruiting expert Mike Sullivan had a chance to interview some AAU program directors about the future of the summer basketball camps ...

It's widely known that there may be some change taking place during the July basketball evaluation period. Among the changes could be the elimination of a couple of basketball camps as we currently know it.

The Reebok, ADIDAS and NIKE summer camps have in the past been held a couple of days after the July Fourth holiday, allowing college coaches, media and fans to watch the young players compete in a game-like setting.

It was reported in the past month that both the NIKE and ADIDAS camps may fold up the idea of the summer camp and perhaps make some changes. "I don't know what's going to happen," said Gary Charles, who helps run the Reebok camp at FDU in Teaneck, New Jersey. "All I know is that some camps might either change or fold."

Charles said Reebok still plans on having its camp next July. "Since ADIDAS and Reebok are really the same company, perhaps some of the people and players from ADIDAS are allowed to merge with our camp," he said. "There's no official word on this. This is just my opinion."

Charles wanted to point out he was speaking for himself and not the Reebok company. "We have to sit down with the people at ADIDAS and try to make this an even better camp," Charles said. "I don't think you add more players because there's already a lot. But if you can make it stronger then even better."

The NIKE camp, held in Indianapolis over the past several years, is perhaps thinking about holding a skills camp. Jim Hart of the Albany City Rocks, on the advisory committee, said he hopes to discuss this very soon with management at NIKE. "I plan on getting out there and discussing it in the next few days," Hart said.

"I am hearing that maybe they could bring the top 20 point guards, top 20 shooting guards, top 20 small forwards, top 20 power forwards and top 20 centers to Oregon and have them work on their skills during that time. So you would still have your top 100 players at a camp during that time."

The ADIDAS camp was held in Atlanta the past few years. "We're allies now," said Charles, referring to the mega-merger of a year ago. "It makes sense to combine our best players and make this an even better camp."

Charles also pointed out the kids want to play too. "Every morning at the camp we spend a couple of hours working on skills in our stations time," Charles said. "The coaches are constantly working on this. But the kids love to compete. They come to this camp because they know the best players will be here. And most of the top players want to play against the other top players."

For players like Malik Boothe, an unselfish point guard from Christ The King High School in Middle Village, New York, a camp is an opportunity to play with other great players from across the country. A player like Boothe will always thrive and make friends at a camp due to his uncanny ability to distribute and make all of his teammates comfortable.

Charles is hoping that everyone remains calm about the summer camp situation and players like Boothe in the future will get plenty of opportunities to show their skills to the many college coaches and fans in the stands.


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