Dwight Powell Diary: Harvard Camp
One of the top bigs of the class of 2010 writes from the Harvard Camp.
Dwight Powell, a rising senior at the IMG Basketball Academy, is one of the top recruits in the country. He plays AAU with Grassroots Canada. Schools in the ACC, PAC-10 and SEC have expressed interest such as Vanderbilt, California, UCLA, Stanford, Virginia and even Harvard. The 6-9, 220-pound forward is spending a few days this summer participating in basketball camps, including the NBPA Top 100, Harvard Camp, Amar’e Stoudemire Skills Academy and LeBron James Skills Academy. Powell, also a 4.0 student, will give SLAM a first-hand account of the camps throughout the summer.—Franklyn Calle
Following the NBPA Top 100 Camp, the Harvard Elite camp was a great experience and, actually, had a few surprises. For starters, for those of you who have not been to Boston, it’s a headache taking public transportation anywhere. My Mom moved to Melrose, a suburb of Boston, just about a year ago, so we have had our fair share of issues with the transit system… it just doesn’t compare to the efficiency and reliability of the Toronto transit system. Since my Mom and I don’t own a car, we depend on the “T” (subway system) to get around. After waiting for about 20 minutes for a train and another 20 minutes in the sweaty underground, we realized we were on the wrong train… the one that was on its way to the Harvard Ave. station and not Harvard (University) station. We eventually got on the right train and made it in time for opening ceremonies by Harvard assistant coach Brian DeStefano and head coach Tommy Amaker. The motto for the camp is “Compete, Be Unselfish and Have Fun.” For sure, that’s what we all did today!
After about 100 of us were sorted into teams, we started off with some station work. For about an hour and a half, we had hands-on coaching from college and high school coaches. We worked on things like help side defense, offensive and defensive rebounding, and transition defense. Personally, I hadn’t done much in the way of cardio for the past week because of a “semi-severe” poke to the eye that I suffered at the NBPA Camp. As a result, I felt quite winded after the transition defense, but it was good. When we were doing the transition drill, I was pleasantly surprised at some of the talent at this camp. Some might think Harvard is a school for nerds or lower-level players, but I can tell you that there were definitely some kids at this camp who are aspiring to go to Harvard, and they can play!
I was surprised yet again when Coach Amaker announced that a longtime pro in Grant Hill would be attending and giving a lecture. It’s always exciting to hear from NBA players who have done what we all aspire to do, and it’s interesting to hear their different views on basketball and life. After dinner, we all headed over to the Harvard Business School, where Grant Hill shared with us some stories about his high school and college days, as well as his professional basketball career. Grant Hill has achieved some amazing things. But despite all of that, he still remains humble even as one of the veterans in the league.
We then got into the games. My team, the Lakers, were first on the docket on the main floor of the Lavietes Pavillion – Harvard’s home gym. Once again, this gave me a chance to witness a higher level of talent than I honestly expected. The coaching staff at Harvard spoke a lot about the changing culture of their basketball program, and how they are planning to make major waves over the next couple of seasons. Obviously, a lot of players, including me, understand that and are curious about what’s going on there. Overall, it was a good experience. Unfortunately, I will not be attending the remaining two days of the Harvard camp because I’ll be flying out to Phoenix for the Amar’e Stoudemire Nike Skills Camp. But I leave you with this… keep your eyes open for Harvard. They’re doing some big-time work!
Signing off for now… Dwight Powell.