2nd Josh Howard camp gives kids advanced training

Photos by Alphonso Abbott Jr.

2nd Josh Howard camp gives kids advanced training
July 27
05:00 2017

Winston-Salem legend Josh Howard has definitely made his presence known in the community with his free camps at various community centers along with his philanthropic work through his Josh Howard Foundation.  Last week however, he held a pay camp at Piedmont International University where he coaches.

The camp was designed to give the kids a taste of what Howard learned while playing at Wake Forest and in the NBA.  His free camps involve skills and training but he says his camp last week was more intense and rigorous.

“This camp is a little more elite where I give them the opportunity to go through what I went through at the professional level,” he said.  “It’s a little more hard nosed and a little more nit picking because I want them to get an understanding of what professional players actually go through.”

“I have them going through shell drills, shooting situations, one-on-one drills and dribbling drills because it’s kind of a lost art and a lot of kids forget they have to do that to get their shot off,” Howard continued.  “I push them and I tell my coaches to stay on them.  Any little mistake they make is an opportunity for constructive criticism.”

Even with the intense atmosphere of the camp, Howard says he knows the kids understand that they are not there to hurt them but are there to make them get better.  He says he likes to tell the kids to “get better than the next kid at school that is better than you” to get in their minds the need for consistent hard work on the court.

Howard’s camp was split into two different sessions.  He held one for the middle school level in the morning and brought in the high school level kids in the afternoon.

“The high schoolers are a little bit older and you can tell they are used to doing whatever they want to do,” he said.  “Sometimes we have to force them a little bit more until they realize we are here for fun and learning.”

“The middle school kids get it,” Howard continued.  “They are just here because they are amazed at the whole opportunity they have.  Once they get out there and see it’s all about basketball, they go 100 miles per hour.”

There were many parents in attendance watching their kids play in the camp.  They all seemed impressed with what Howard had to offer and the training methods he was teaching to the kids.  Jaime Foster, parent of a camper, says it was a no brainer for him to bring his son to the camp to learn from a former NBA All-Star.

“Josh does a lot of good things and I felt my son needed to work out with other people who know what they’re doing besides me,” Foster said.  “Advise coming from a former NBA player and college coach was good for my son and he got a lot out of this week at the camp.  It’s a lot of things he does that I have never seen at other camps before.”

Foster’s son, Deshon Byrd, added, “I like that fact that I had the opportunity to be worked out by a former NBA player and getting the chance to meet other guys and playing with them.  We learned a lot from ball handing to shooting, which will help us all become better players.”

Howard says now that he is a coach he somewhat approaches the camps the same way as before except he pays more attention to the little things. 

“It’s the small things that made me better and that’s what I try to force onto them,” said Howard.  “The little things will help you get that extra two points or that rebound you need to win the game.  A lot of people forget about the intangibles, so for me to teach that is awesome and for them to get it is even better and more satisfying for me.”

“The biggest thing I tell them is to not quit,” he said when asked what he hoped the kids took away from the camp.  “There will always be someone out there that can compete with you but as long as you put forth your best effort, you will be good.”

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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