200 kids participated in a youth basketball camp this past weekend
at the Pechanga Recreation Center in Temecula, hosted by Inter Tribal
Sports (ITS). It's safe to say it wasn't difficult to distinguish
the camp's speaker amongst the youth.
Walton, NBA Hall of Famer and three-time College Player of the Year
at UCLA, helped inspire and motivate the youth from 12 tribes across
Southern California at the inaugural Bill Walton Basketball Camp
was joined by ABA San Diego Surf head coach Terry Mason and players
Aaron Hands and Glen Dandridge, along with several players from
the UCSD Men's basketball team.
theme and take away from this year's camp: There is much more to
basketball than competition.
game of basketball is so much more than just putting the ball in
the hoop," said Walton, who led Helix High School in San Diego
to CIF Section titles in 1969 and 1970. "It is more about learning
how basketball can be lifestyle, how to compete and make choices,
and realizing it's not how good you are; it's how good your team
kids couldn't ask for a better venue to learn in than the Pechanga
Recreation Center. The state-of-the art facility built in 2009 is
also a site the Los Angeles Lakers have been known to practice.
much fun as the camp was for the kids, it was equally as joyful
for the big guys.
good to get down to this level working with kids who are learning
the game of basketball," said Surf coach Terry Mason. "When
you got these young minds out here, it's pure basketball."
Dandridge and Hands sat in on the morning meeting held by Walton,
where he went over Coach John Wooden's philosophies and the Pyramid
had the pyramid memorized, hands down," said Dandridge. "He
inspired and motivated meI was ready to get out there and
do some drills."
mentioned the benefits he has noticed from teaching the game of
whole mental part of the game came full circle for me after teaching
what I had been taught my whole life," Hands said. "After
teaching the footwork and teaching the fundamentals, it makes you
a much better basketball player."
son, Luke, a player for the Lakers, is a perfect example.
used to teach him everything and Luke would come and teach me how
to play. Luke is the great mental basketball player that is because
he knows the game from both aspects."
camp is a sign of many great things to come for ITS Program Manager
Gene Dixon, Director Ben Foster, and Walton.
February 13, ITS and Walton will be sending kids to Pauley Pavilion
to watch Oregon State take on UCLA. On the Beavers Roster is Joe
Burton, the first Native American to receive a men's basketball
scholarship in Pac-10 history.
I know very well how many people have sacrificed for me, and now
it is my turn," said Walton "When people are generous
and sacrifice so much for you, your life is never the same. To see
these children having the time of their life, with all of the great
sponsors and people who are donating their timeit truly is
a team coming together."
the lucky ones."