Wearing their new Under Armour gear from head to toe, all 100 campers took the court for the first time in Charlottesville on Wednesday.
They learned what it’s like to warmup and stretch like the pros, and then they went through different skill stations with the NBA players in attendance for the NBPA’s coaching program, designed for pros who want to join a team’s bench one day.
Overall, according to the Top 100 Camp director Tim McCormick, there are 35 current and former NBA players in town to teach and mentor the campers—48 of whom are 6’8″ and taller.
After the on-court drills, the campers broke for group discussions. They learned about the dangers of addiction from former NBA player Dirk Minniefield, who had drug problems, and Stephen Taylor, the medical director of the anti-drug program at the NBA.
They also heard from actor and performance coach Zachary Minor, who’s an activist for personal empowerment of athletes. Focusing on decision-making, he left the campers with a key takeaway, “Everyone will have to face a difficult decision in life.” Two campers tested out their acting skills by role-playing a situation involving a child born out of wedlock.
They also met two counselors—Dayna Smith and Jada Jackson—who discussed healthy relationships, stressing, “Learn to say no to someone else, but say yes to yourself.” While the campers sat through the meetings, their parents met Kat Barefield, the camp’s dietitian, who went over performance and recovery strategies—how to prevent weak bones and decrease risk of fractures, what to look for with supplements and how to eat before workouts and games.
The afternoon and evening portion of the camp was dedicated to the first round of games. The campers implemented new plays that the NBA player coaches have started to study and strategize for game action. The leading scorer after Day 1 was Romeo Langford (18 points per game), while Zion Williamson, who wowed his peers during an impromptu dunk-off with a windmill lefty finish, averaged 16.5 points.
Below is a photo look inside Day 2 of the Top 100 Camp.
Photo credits: Davide De Pas and Ralph Raphael (photo editor is Katelyn Greer)