Local athletes will have an opportunity to improve on the fundamentals of the game of basketball this week at the Gerald Wallace Basketball camp.
The camp is Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at Childersburg High School.
This is the fifth year for the Wallace camp, and every year it has improved. The two-week camp is broken into age groups. This week, Wallace will focus on kids ages 7-12.
Last year, 75 young athletes participated in the first week of the camp.
“Our main thing is just helping with their fundamentals, to try to let them have fun and just get a feeling of enjoyment with basketball,” Wallace said last summer. “Our main three things are: teamwork, leadership and having fun. Nobody wants to do anything that they’re not having fun at. It’s the main thing we emphasize. We do fundamental games, we let them work on their ball handling skills, some of the defensive shuffles and slides and play a little five-on-five — work on sharing the ball, being a good teammate and being a good team player.”
The second week of the camp is for experienced basketball players ages 13-17.
The camp had several of the top talent participating last year: 1A Player of the Year finalist Jasmine Richardson, Tariah Reynolds and Cierra Swain. All three of the players showed improvement last season, especially when it came down to the fundamentals of the game.
The Boston Celtics forward said he likes to see players come to the camp with the mind set of improving their game.
“You don’t have to make it hard,” Wallace said. “Like they tell us as professional players, you can always get better. The only way you get better is to work on something and keep working on it. These guys pretty much know the skills. We see these guys develop and get better. They do it another year and keep on getting better. That’s the main thing we try to teach them: just keep on getting better.”
Registration will be open until the first day of the camp on Monday. The registration fee is $50.
Participants of the camp will be coached by Wallace, as well as the coaches that coached him while he was in Childersburg.
Wallace will be entering his 14th year in the NBA next fall. The athletic forward is coming off his first serious injury of his career. Wallace had knee and ankle surgery.
The knee injury happened against the Atlanta Hawks.
The basketball camp is one of the ways that Wallace gives back to his community. Wallace established The Giving Back Fund in 2008.
The mission of the Foundation is to provide life-changing opportunities for underserved children and their families with a special emphasis on recreational activities in Childersburg.
When Wallace returns next season he will have two seasons remaining on his $40 million contract that he signed with the Brooklyn Nets before he was packaged in a deal to Boston for Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnet.