Back in June, I went down to Washington, DC to take part in the Big Shots organization’s first ever summer basketball camp. Big Shots is known for their high quality, ultra-competitive AAU tournaments held throughout the country. I played in a Big Shots tournament in King of Prussia, PA, and by high quality I mean high quality. I’m talking about alumni like NBA players John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins and collegiate players the likes of Meyers Leonard (Illinois), Quincy Miller (Baylor), Jahii Carson (Arizona State), and Nick Johnson (Arizona), to name a few.

Big Shots was founded 12 years ago by former Virginia Tech standout and Cal-Poly head coach Jeff Schneider. Now they’re launching Big Shots Camps and brought in Greg White, former West Virginia High School Player of the Year, standout point guard at Marshall University and longtime University of Charleston head coach, to run the camps. Overall, my camp experience was great. It was a three-day overnight camp at Catholic University (good food, by the way) but in that short time it offered much more than I’ve experienced at any other camp.

In addition to hard-playing games, drills and scrimmages, one of the unique offerings was “Crazy Handles,” a 6:30 a.m. class focusing strictly on ball handling drills taught by Coach White, also known as “The Wizard,” because he can do some amazing things with a basketball. I thought I’d be the only kid there, especially since the previous night’s scrimmages ended at almost 11 p.m., but more than two-thirds of the campers were there and we learned a lot.

Surprisingly, there was a lot of emphasis on providing us with college recruiting information, something I’d never received at any other camp. (More on that in a future blog.)

As for the competition at the camp, I have to admit I was impressed. Most of the players there were going into their senior year but some were fifth year seniors, or high school graduates trying to get a few more scholarship offers. The way I saw it, out of about 100 players in the high school age group there were probably 10 legitimate Division I players. Kids who weren’t legitimate D I players were close to it and could probably go to a low-major program. There were a lot of D II guys as well. I could be completely off base either way, though. There could have been more DI prospects or there could have been less, all I’m saying is that there were a lot of great players there.

The camp recently posted evaluations of all players at the camp. Several who scored over 80 as mid- to high-major prospects were incoming senior Langston Burnett (6’4” Forward, Massenutten High, Beltsville, MD); rising junior Jon Elmore (6’3” Combo Guard, Christ School, Charleston, WV) and three freshmen, Gary Jefferson (6’2” Point Guard, Spalding High, Baltimore, MD), Jeremy Steadman (6’6” Combo Guard, Christ Chapel Academy, Woodbridge, VA) and Charles Williams (6’ Shooting Guard, Evangel Christian, Chester, VA).

The evaluations had to be extremely helpful to all the players with honest opinions designed to outline strengths as well as things to work on. As an incoming junior whose season was cut short last year by a two-month benching because of mono, I was pleased with my evaluation. Their analysis called me “a facilitator who can run a team very well and brings great chemistry to a team…He needs to take the open shot…has a 3.5 GPA and is a college-bound student.”

After seeing some of the players at the camp and reading my review, I realize that I have some work to do to get to the next level and I’m determined to do that. Aside from getting dunked on 3 or 4 times I had a lot of fun and I definitely plan on going again next year.

***More to come on Big Shots Camp in my next blog ***

Would love to know what you think…open the comment box by clicking on the title or thought bubble above.

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Comments
  1. Anonymous says:

    Hi Mike, I think you are a good kid and will feel better about this than you already do when you look back on it later. You can use this story someday with your own children and spoil their fun ! My brother was just in Nepal doing a Habitat for Humanity. You guys make me feel that cleaning Sean s room is not enough , for the love of all the saints I might do one of these this year, thanks kid . Joan McGuinness

  2. pocketiq says:

    Have to appreciate a guy who can admit he got dunked on!

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