D.J. White teaches basketball basics to local youths
More than 140 young basketball players between the ages of 6 and 14 beat the early chill on Saturday morning to learn from former Hoosier basketball star and current NBA Oklahoma City Thunder forward D.J. White.
White sponsored his first youth Hoosiers Star Basketball Camp with ProCamps Worldwide and Bloomington Twin Lakes Recreation Center in the city where his collegiate athletic experience stood out.
The camp aimed at improving the fundamentals of basketball to the maximum level during the four-hour session.
“We are trying to help D.J. to get back to this community which made a huge impact on his Hoosier career,” said Adam Trick, coordinator of White’s camp.
Trick said what made this camp special was that White and ProCamps Worldwide worked to allocate 100 camper spots for children from Bloomington Boys & Girls Club, allowing them to attend the camp at no cost.
The campers were categorized into three divisions named respectively by White’s high school, college and professional teams – Patriots, Hoosiers and Thunder.
Each division consisted of three age-based groups.
The camp started with a drill session consisting of 12 intense eight-minute episodes, allowing the campers to polish their fundamentals on different aspects of their games.
Additionally, all campers had to be ready at any time to quickly switch to a triple-threat possession and then listen to following demands by the coach.
This special assembly call was intended to make sure campers learned to be alert at all times. It also taught them the importance of the triple-threat possession.
Rather than just waiting to be asked to help, he kept moving around the whole camp and let each camper have the chance to see an NBA player’s moves closely. White kept jumping into different stations and assisting coaches in demonstrating the correct moves.
Several 15-minute games allowed campers to put the fundamentals they had just polished into practice.
White randomly substituted for young players on the court, since he had found a jersey that fit his 6-foot-9, 251-pound frame.
The kids also had the opportunity to ask White about his professional career.
White confessed that road trips were tough for him, as they could be as tiring as on-court competitions. It was something he did not like but had to deal with.
White’s former Hoosiers teammate Eric Gordon joined him later in the group question session. Gordon said that in the NBA, the hardest players for him to defend were
Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade.
For White, who finished his rookie season after two surgeries, Tim Duncan was the hardest to guard.
Gordon is currently playing with Los Angeles Clippers, which drafted him as the 7th overall selection in the 2008 NBA Draft.
Gordon scored his career-high 41 points against White’s Oklahoma City Thunder on Jan. 23.
“(The camp) is definitely a great opportunity,” White said during the media session. “By joining in the camp, they can learn how to listen to the coaches and learn the basics of basketball.”
White said the athletic experience for young people was very important because they could learn something beyond sports.
He considered this camp to be a great success and would love to make it an annual event.
“When I was young,” White said, “I went to basketball camps and found my role models and learned from them. And I benefit from them later in my life.
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