2016 – Day 3 and 4 Recap: Camp Announces First-Ever Rodney Rogers Courage Award

Rodney Rogers hasn’t let a serious dirt bike accident in 2008, which caused paralysis from the fall, stop him from being active in the community and mentoring youth at basketball events.

The former NBA Sixth Man Award winner started his own foundation to raise money for surgery and equipment for others with spinal-cord injuries. And for the past several years, he’s attended the whole week of the Top 100 Camp, speaking to the teenagers, sitting courtside to watch the games and providing advice afterwards to the rising stars.

For the impressive commitment that he’s made to living life to the fullest and contributing to the Top 100 Camp, the event announced the first-ever Rodney Rogers Courage Award. It will be given to a camper on Saturday, two days before Rogers’ 45th birthday.

“Often times in life we encounter difficult times, and the true measure of a man is how you deal with those difficult times and how you continue to move forward,” Purvis Short, the NBPA’s director of player programs, told the campers before introducing Rogers. “None of us have had a situation as difficult as what Rodney’s been going through. He’s never wavered, his courage has always been outstanding. He’s really been a true example of what it means to face life’s most difficult challenge, and continue to try to move forward and to give back.”

Rogers spoke to the teenagers on the court in the middle of John Paul Jones Arena, stressing the importance of the Top 100 Camp and all of its resources.

“I went to smaller camps, but nothing as big as this,” he said. “So take advantage of what you have in front of you. I’m watching you guys and critiquing you guys. If you want my help with anything, I’m sitting over here on the sidelines.”

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Rodney Rogers speaks to the campers. (Photo by Davide De Pas Pictures)


The campers have gained more life lessons this week from other key speakers. On Thursday, they heard how to best utilize social media from Steve Shenbaum, a former actor who now runs Game on Nation, which specializes in communication, leadership, team building and media training. In addition, Glenn Terry and Elizabeth Ramsey from the NCAA went over recruiting, eligibility and rules to follow, and motivational speaker Tony Gaskins discussed relationship advice.

There was a much more serious tone on Friday when the campers heard from Reggie Shaw, a former youth basketball player who killed two men texting while driving 10 years ago. Shaw is now a highly sought-after motivational speaker across the country.

“The texting and driving, that was really eye-opening on how choices can make a big difference in life,” said Sam Waardenburg, who’s a top prospect from New Zealand.

Below is a photo look inside Day 3 and 4 of the Top 100 Camp, highlighting the camper, coaching, broadcaster and parent programs.

Photo credits: Davide De Pas and Ralph Raphael (photo editor is Katelyn Greer)


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Purvis Short introduces Rogers.


Former NBA point guard Rafer Alston works with the campers on pick-and-roll moves.


Former NBA guard Junior Harrington works with a camper on a ball-handling drill.


Former NBA big man Melvin Ely has grown close to Chinese prospect Jiayi Li, focusing on him getting lower, using a deeper pivot and banging harder in the low post, and shooting off of the balls of his feet instead of leaning back on his heels.


Former NBA swingman James White works with University of Miami commit Chris Lykes on a one-on-one situation.


Longtime NBA assistant Brendan Suhr (left), who leads the instruction during the NBPA’s coaching program, catches up with NBPA Deputy Executive Director Roger Mason on Virginia’s practice court.


Spurs forward Matt Bonner leads a mock shootaround, walking through a play that the opponent will run in the game and discussing how to defend it, which is the point of the exercise.


Former NBA center Antonio Davis gets his turn calling the shots.


76ers point guard Kendall Marshall takes over as coach.


Former WNBA player Adrienne Goodson shows Sean Singletary where he needs to be during the shootaround session.


Former WNBA player Andrea Stinson, who joins Goodson are the first two females in the coaching program’s history.


The players go through a strategy session together.


Motivational speaker and business consultant Dr. Earl Suttle meets with the campers’ parents during a breakout session.


A closer look at the Top 100 Camp gear.


Makur Maker is the younger brother of Thon, who was at the Top 100 Camp last year and will be in the NBA draft next week.


Former NBA center Brian Cook prepares his playbook.


NBA veteran Caron Butler (right) is a participant in the NBPA’s broadcaster program at the Top 100 Camp. He works alongside the program’s director Matt Park, who’s the voice of the Syracuse Orange.


Top 100 Camp keynote speaker Derek Anderson (left) shares a lighter moment with NBPA career development counselor Lloyd Walton.