There may be no greater thrill for young basketball fans than having the opportunity to train with the stars of their favorite team. This summer marks 25 years of the Knicks Summer Basketball Camp giving kids that chance by connecting young players with basketball legends.
The camp has eight sessions, – in NYC, Bronxville and East Hampton, N.Y. and in Millburn, N.J. – each of which lasts three to four days and will feature current and former Knicks players and coaches. The camp is designed for both girls and boys between seven and 17 years old, and can accommodate various levels of experience. The $500 price tag includes lunches, uniforms and special giveaways. Past Knicks guests have included Arron Afflalo, Kristaps Porzingis, John Starks and Langston Galloway.
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“It’s really getting a grasp on the fundamentals of the game of basketball and how hard you have to work in order to improve in those areas that make you a very solid basketball player,” says Starks, a former shooting guard who played for the Knicks from 1990-1998. “Whether you want to play from elementary to junior high to high school to college and maybe have an opportunity to play as a pro, we just want you to develop those fundamentals.”
Each day at the Knicks Camp consists of drills, games and guest speakers from the NBA. According to Starks, the camp focuses on cementing the basic skills necessary for any good basketball player and emphasizing the importance of teamwork.
One of the camp’s main goals is to promote teamwork. Says Starks, “That’s our number one thing as coaches. Within that teamwork obviously you have a lot of individual players, but … teams in any sport that you see, whether it’s football, baseball, basketball, whatever sport, requires team effort.”
While being careful to balance individual team spirit with a friendly overall environment, the camp staff divides the 100-150 campers into teams on the first day based on age and skill level. The typical breakdown is about 70 percent boys and 30 percent girls, and boys and girls play on teams together.
Starks says his favorite memory from the camp is of helping a team that didn’t win any games during what the camp calls its regular season, but then went on to win the playoffs.
Says Starks, “You’re teaching them not to give up and keep pushing and keep working hard.”
For more information:
Call 212-631-5796 or visit theKnicks Summer Basketball Camp website