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Native Top 50 Camp: Day 2

07/01/2017, 10:00am CDT
By Max Ivany

I've been an instructor at hundreds of high quality basketball camps over the years, and of course I'm partial to mine (The Adidas D1 Nation Top 100 Camp). But I'd be hard pressed to say there's anything quite like the endeavor started by Global Elite Sports, Derrick Stevens. As Founder of the Native Top 50 Camp he has focused in on a niche market of providing exposure to Native American Players.

Stevens has a rich and colorful basketball history which culminated in a successful college career at Colorado State University, as well as several years in professional leagues abroad. He also spent one year coaching pros in China.

Day two of the Native Top 50 saw several extremely talented Division One prospects emerge.  More on that in tomorrow's recap.

Day 2 of the Native Top 50 Camp was tough.  How tough? It started at 05:45 with calisthenics. After breakfast the players were broken into four groups and given college level drills which were instructed by some of  the best in the business. 

I've started to form opinions on players. First of all, who's serious?  Some are obviously here on vacation while some are either trying to earn exposure and scholarship offers, or the seniors who are going off to college to play are trying to hone their games to have an edge when they show up on their respective college campuses.

Once again, the day started under the watchful eye of combine gurus Francisco Lujan and Frank these young folks are learning how to take care of their bodies. In addition to proper stretching and warm up techniques, they are getting a nutrition and recovery curriculum.

The herd is beginning to cull itself. We've had a player who had to leave because their parent was ill (and we wish her well). We've had two players leave because of injury and finally we had to remove two players for violating camp rule.

The latter two examples are teaching and learning moments. Injuries can occur at any time, but the likelihood is lessened by proper rest nutrition and training methods. You cannot expect your body to perform at it's peak when called upon if the proper habits are not in place.

Regarding rules and discipline, most things are put in place for the players benefit and safety. Some things cannot be compromised and some things are non negotiable. As an example, if you were to attend most Baptist schools there is a zero tolerance for alcohol. SIP it once and you are on the next bus home.  We all have to be accountable.

The meat and potatoes of yesterday's program was the station work, and skill development concepts which were shared with the players. 

Advanced techniques in shooting, spacing, running the pick and roll, point guard play etc were all on the agenda. Most of the players gave maximum effort. The reward of course is that the evening session saw them assigned to their respective team and they had scrimmage games.

As coaches, it was a chance to see if the player digested the instruction and did they attempt to do those things during game play.  Both the boys and girls games were hotly contested and ended in 2 point affairs.