NOTE: Jason Drake plays basketball in the state of Illinois and has attended many Purdue-sponsored basketball camps. The above article includes experiences from the Gene Keady Basketball Camp Session III, held July 5, 1999 through July 8, 1999.
My name is Jason Drake. In the fall I will be 13 and in the 7th grade. I have been going to basketball camps since the first grade and have played on traveling teams, feeder teams and the 7th grade team at my middle school. All of the camps have been day camps or camps where I did not stay overnight. This time my parents dropped me off on Monday and picked me up on Thursday. It was kind of exciting and scary both.
When we got to Purdue, we went to Owen Hall. My mom said that when she was at Purdue it was a dorm for boys only but you could see from the signs that girls now stayed on the side we were on. When we checked in I got a key and a card so that I could eat at the cafeteria. They told us that Gene Keady was not at the camp this year because he was with the Olympic team but we could have a picture taken with Cuonzo Martin instead. I said that was fine because I had pictures of Gene and me from other camps.
We found my room and Mom showed me where everything was in the dorm, like the cafeteria and vending machines. Then we went down to the field house where you could shoot baskets and play until everyone had checked in and camp started.
After everyone got there we went to Mackey Arena where they divided us into our age groups and got our pictures taken with Cuonzo. They divided us into teams for 5-on-5 competitions and then we scrimmaged to make sure that the teams were even--if they weren't, they traded somebody to another team. I got traded once because our team was so good.
We had dinner (pizza) in the Mackey Arena VIP room. After that, we had a lecture in Mackey about former basketball players and others who hustled or who worked hard to make a team if they had been cut, and how hard work pays off. Then we went back to the gym and played 3-on-3-on-3 speedball--which is a fast break basketball game and had shooting competition (that day was knockout). Then we went back to the dorm and took showers and had snacks from the vending machines.
The schedule for the day went like this:
7:15am: Wake up
7:30am - 8:30am: Breakfast
8:45am - 9:00am: Roll call
9:00am - 11:00am: Individual fundamental stations (ball handling, dribbling, layups, shooting)
11:00am - 11:30am: More speedball competition
11:30am - 12:30pm: Lunch back at the dorm
12:30pm - 1:00pm: Free time, free play, video tapes -- You could hang out in your room, go shoot baskets or watch videotapes of basketball games (usually Purdue, but not always)
1:05pm - 1:45pm: Lecture (like when Todd Foster came in and showed us drills on you could do on your own)
1:45pm - 2:15pm: Individual shooting competitions (weave around cones all the way down the court and make a basket in 5 seconds, one day we had 1-on-1 games)
2:15pm - 4:15pm: 5-on-5 games
4:15pm - 5:00pm: Recreation period (do anything you want until dinner)
5:00pm - 6:00pm: Dinner
6:05pm - 6:45pm Basketball carnival (your team stayed at one basket and had different shooting competitions like Mikan layups, speed shooting, free throws, etc.)
6:45pm - 8:00pm: 5-on-5 games
8:30pm - 9:00pm: 3-on-3 games (You were on one team for 5-on-5 and a different team for the 3-on-3 games)
9:00pm - 10:30pm: Free time (pizza if you ordered it, and showers, calls, videos, snacks, etc.)
10:30pm: Lights out
On the last day we had the awards ceremony at Mackey at 11:30. They gave awards for 5 top "Shooters" and "All Camp" team (5 from each age group), the speedball winners, the 3-on-3 winners, the "Hustle" awards, and the "Most Improved" and "Most Valuable" player awards. Those players all got plaques.
Then we went back to the dorms and got our stuff. It was a lot of fun because we mostly played games and got a lot of time to just hang out. Some of the present players came by and some former ones, too. There were 13 kids from Austria, and one from Hungary--they earned money to come here by working. We had 60 guys in our age group which was 11 & 12 year olds. There were also groups for ages 9 & 10, 13 & 14, and 15 and up. I thought it was fun to act like you were in college and you didn't have to go to class.
If you are interested in asking Jason questions about his experiences at the Purdue basketball camps, send an email and Jason will try to answer them in a future article. General questions about Purdue basketball camps can be accessed at the Gene Keady's Boys Basketball Camp website.
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