Many kids in today’s world aspire to become professional athletes. However, achieving this is easier said than done. Opportunities that immerse prospective athletes in an atmosphere of raw talent, enthusiasm, positivity and guidance by a knowledgeable professional are critically influential to a young athlete’s journey to achieving their goals.
On Saturday, a handful of young basketball players were given the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience this. The athletes were able to spend time and improve their arsenal of basketball skills at an event hosted by Seth Curry, a point guard for the Dallas Mavericks of the NBA (National Basketball Association). The second annual “Seth Curry Camp,” presented by Under Armour, also featured coaching and advice from Thomas Scott, a former assistant coach for the Los Angeles Lakers and a current instructor for YouBall Training.
This year, the camp was held at Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks. Sports Academy is a large complex, allowing Curry and his fellow instructors to have plenty of space while mentoring the aspiring players. According to Curry, he preferred the Sports Academy over Ventura College (last year’s venue) because there were “a lot more courts for the kids.”
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“[We’re just] trying to build it, man,” Curry said regarding the establishment of the camp. “We put it on ourselves, me and a couple friends, and we just have to come out here and try and make it better every single year, that’s the goal.”
The event was a hit among the campers, as many were in awe to be in the presence of a professional athlete and therefore relished the moment. Fourteen-year-old camper Camran Mahmoodin recognized how “special” the event was for him.
“It’s something that doesn’t happen every day and something that doesn’t happen to a lot of kids,” he said. “I take it as an opportunity [to improve].”
Mahmoodin, who aspires to be an NBA player, acknowledged that this event was extremely helpful in helping him take another step forward toward his goals. He plays basketball with an Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) team, which is regarded as one of the most competitive levels for an adolescent. Despite his previous experience, he still felt that he was able to learn valuable basketball skills that are key for improvement.
“I just learned how I can work on my game everyday, how I can get my ball handling better, how I can get my shooting better and how to stay consistent with my shot,” he explained.
Curry felt that he accomplished his main goal for the camp’s events: allowing the kids to have a good time while improving their skills.
“You want [the kids] to have fun, you want [them to] enjoy that time here, they spend the whole Saturday here, so we want them to come here and have fun,” he said. “Obviously we try to keep it simple also, give them simple drills to work on that they can take home with them, and that’s going to help them get better at basketball.”
Thirteen-year-old Acacia Williams would “definitely” go to the camp if it returned for a third year. She would attend in hopes of gaining “more experience and for the fun.”
“That’s the plan man, I hope so,” said Curry when discussing the possibility of a third installment of his camp. “Obviously [it’s] just one day but it takes a lot of work. There’s a lot of people behind the scenes and we are trying to keep it going and hopefully we’re back.”.