I am writing this email to all the Basketball parents that attend my events. I was asked to address a topic that is infiltrating our industry and damaging our sport and that is the topic of basketball camps, and which ones to attend.
This camp question comes up so often so I will repeat what all of my contemporaries have said to me as recently as yesterday. You see, I run camps for so many people. These camps are for the top players in certain regions. Like an “All Asia” camp, Phenom National camps, All-American Camps, NBA player camps, etc. I am actually running one of these high level camps in Hawaii as I write this email, sitting poolside after a long and strenuous camp day. So as I am running this camp, I witness that the stands are packed with parents and I soon realize that these aren’t parents of the kids attending the event, there are kids and parents from the area. So I ask the organizer of the event, “who are all those people?” He replies, “They are here to hear you speak and observe you run this camp. There are about 500 people here just to hear and observe.” I felt so humbled by this so I continued to go on what I always do when running a camp, speeches and drills. Evaluations, film sessions. These people stayed the entire time! I was flabbergasted. Then after a parent asked me for some advise, I asked why she was in attendance with her middle school son? She told me that she is tired of sending her son to all these camps being run by college kids or inexperienced money grabbers that treat the event like daycare. I was impressed by that answer because she finally caught on! These “AAU ORGANIZATIONS” run these pathetic money grabbing daycare camps, all to line the pockets of the AAU OWNER.
Most “coaches” (I use that term loosely) simply go on YouTube and find some drills to run and they bring out the cones (like a loser) and ask your son or daughter to perform some drills that they watched on YouTube. All of us that are actual real coaches, sit back and laugh and we call those parents “suckers”! They got used! Many of these “coaches” (again, used very loosely) never coached at a high school as a head coach! Most never coached in college. Some were fired by the high school during their first year as a JV coach for cause! How bad is that!!!! Most never played and those that played never coached and could not get cleared to coach because of their past indiscretions. These camps are a joke and a disaster and basically daycare! If that’s what you are looking for, then good for you, you can attend any of these pathetic camps and throw money down the drain! It’s all a money grab! I can no longer work with organizations that perform this service of false advertising all under the allusion of “basketball” camps! They will find anyone to run that camp and pay him $10/hour and that’s only if he can get enough suckers to pay the fee for attending the camp. Again, you would be better served saving that money and going to a park to play! You would get more basketball knowledge from that event than most of these camps!
You need to attend camps run by professional coaches. Coaches that were a head coach of a high school because then you know they were certified and passed the background check. Be coached by former college coaches. Be coached by someone that over achieved. Not by underachievers. Not by someone that never played at the higher levels. Not someone that was fired from a high school for cause. Not someone who can’t get a head coaching job because of his past. You need to spend your money wisely.
For those of you that have attended the Phenom camps in San Diego, you know of what I speak. I have been running those camps for 15 years, along with many Adidas All Star Camps, West Coast All Star Camps and National camps around the world. I say the same thing to those parents at the parent meetings of all these events. You have to stop sending your kids to daycare money grabbing camps, it actually makes your child worse!!!! Stop the madness. Quit putting money in the pockets of these lazy money grabbers that use you and simply have you performing YouTube drills.
Get a coach that can evaluate a game. That has connections. That has coached at the highest levels, that runs national events, that has a qualified resume that isn’t made up. You need to get a coach that can help you both ON AND OFF THE COURT!!! Not some guy that works as a parking attendant and then coaches you on his off time. Get a full time professional. If you receive emails from these third rate programs asking for you to attend their event, ask them who is coaching it? I am sure it’s usually a JV assistant or a former high school player, or a grocery store bagger. Maybe it’s one of those guys I see on the street that carries a sign that says “will train your kid for food”. I give countless speeches on this topic and need to repeat myself constantly because so many parents still don’t get it. We need to put these schemers and fake coaches and bad AAU PROGRAMS out of business. It’s ruining our great game. It starts with you. You have to quit lining the pockets of these con artists. It will protect the game. It will protect your child!!
That being said, I will see you all again very soon!!! Be ready for I run real basketball camps, not fake daycare camps with dunk contests, cones, and some inadequate unqualified 20-something clown regurgitating some gimmick drill he found on YouTube. The camps I run are for the best of the best. These kids attend real camps! They do not attend rec league camps. They do not play for scrubs. We will work you and educate you! We will teach life lessons and you will be coached by qualified certified educated coaches that can help your child in the most important game of all, the game of life!!!
See you soon!!!