CHINA

Greetings from Beijing, China. I have been over here since June 3rd doing camps for NIKE. Last week we did a camp for 26 Chinese girls and this week NIKE is doing the All Asia Camp for boys. This was the first NIKE girls camp and it was very well done as all the NIKE camps are. I am sure it will become a staple for NIKE. The All Asia Camp has been going on since 2000 and it has gotten better every year. The talent, coaching, competition seems to improve each and every year. This year the NIKE pro athletes that are here are Andre Igoudala and Tyreke Evans. In the past NIKE has brought over Rajon Rondo, Aaron Brooks, Paul Pierce, Ben Gordon, Jason Richardson and Nate Robinson. Basketball is HUGE in China and it continues to grow. It is amazing how many Chinese play basketball. The coaching staff consists of Tates Locke, Dave Severns, Miles Simon, Jarinn Akana and myself. This is the first time to China for Dave and Miles. Needless to say they are very impressed by the Chinese culture. Dave Severns was over early too, for the girls NIKE camp. The camp starts off each day with Blair Donovan putting the guys through stretching and warmup drills, from there the kids break up into their skill work. Jarinn takes the bigs, Miles the point guards, Dave and Tates the wings and I have the shooting guards. The kids drill for two straight hours and then they split into their teams. There are six teams and they will play three sixteen minute games against different teams. Then it is time for lunch. After lunch the kids come back to camp and Blair loosens them up again. Then we put them through shooting stations and shooting competition for a half hour. Then the kids break up to their teams for a team practice/team concepts. The one thing that we all try to emphasize ┬áis to pass the ball and after passing cut hard or set a screen. Every kid here loves to dribble the ball, drive the ball out of control. (N0t much different than the kids back in the US). They do not know how to play without the ball. (Just like the kids back home). After the team practice it is time for another set of three sixteen minute games. The kids love to leave their feet when passing and don’t seem very interested in defense. The coaches all have translators and we don’t have a clue as to what they are telling the kids. We have to trust that they know what they are doing and that they are telling the kids the same thing that we are telling them to say. Camp ends on Saturday and then I will head home on Sunday night. I love China, but I am looking forward to getting back home stateside and seeing my daughter McKenna. Talking on the phone just doesn’t do it for me. Thanks for reading, may the GOOD LORD BLESS YOU, YOUR FAMILY and FRIENDS,

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