I guess this week was sports camp week for me! Earlier this week I covered 49er Arik Armstead's football camp, and today I found myself at DeMarcus Cousins' basketball camp. DeMarcus' camp took place at Sacramento High School and had over 180 kids come out. This camp was unique in that it was a completely free camp. Attendees had to apply and be selected to come. The lucky campers who were chosen would get a great learning experience from some of the best coaches from around the Sacramento area.
Each camper got a special DeMarcus Cousins camp t-shirt to wear during the duration of the day. Besides this, a free lunch was provided as well as numerous give-aways and prizes. I've done a few community events for DeMarcus and they have all had this same spirit of giving back to them. I love seeing professional athletes give back, and DeMarcus is one of the best at doing so. He may have a tough reputation on the basketball court, but in the community he is known for his caring spirit.
The kids were definitely ready to have some fun this morning. They were filled with excitement as the day began. The kids ranged from nine years old up to sixteen. They were broken up into age groups and paired with coaches to practice different basketball fundamentals.Even the youngest of the campers were expected to give it their all today. It was awesome to see the effort that was put out in improving their skill set.
One of the most unique things the campers got to do today was have a Q & A session with DeMarcus. He sat down in front of all the campers and took questions. They asked him all sorts of things such as his favorite drill to what it took to get into the NBA. This was probably my personal favorite time as well as it was fascinating to hear DeMarcus answer the different questions posed by the kids. There were some really good questions followed up by insightful answers.
Both boys and girls came to camp ready to work. Dribbling, shooting, and playing defense were all focuses of the day. Coaches were really paying attention to each camper and their skill level. They were looking for the best basketball players at the camp. Some of the campers could possibly be recommended to attend other even higher-level camps in the future.
It's Sign Lady! There were a lot of members of the media who came to cover this camp, but surprisingly Sign Lady was there among them. She brought a couple of her signature signs to the camp for DeMarcus. For those of you not in the know, Sign Lady is practically a local celebrity at the Kings games. Her signs are known across the NBA. In fact, the is a member of the Fan HOF!
I was also surprised to see NBA player Matt Barnes at the camp this morning. It turns out his kids were in attendance. Barnes is a product of Sacramento, so I guess I shouldn't have been that surprised... but I still was. Many of the campers were really excited to see him come in. These lucky campers had twice the number of NBA players in the gym to help them!
All-in-all it was a really full and fun day for the campers. The camp will continue on tomorrow, and I'll be back to capture more photos. I'm looking forward to another great day and am excited to get some great pics!
Check out all of the photos I took at today's camp by clicking HERE. I will update this link with photos from day two as soon as I get them all processed.