Dwight Powell Diary: LeBron Academy, Days 3 & 4
One of the top bigs of the class of 2010 writes from Akron and Cleveland, OH.
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
Day 3 at the LeBron James Skills Academy
Day 3 started with a really good morning workout. We spent a majority of the time working in groups by position. The bigs were focused on running rim to rim and shaping up, as well as some more pick-and-roll situations like drag screens. The last 20 minutes or so were spent on 4-on-4 games, with an emphasis on sharing the ball and rewarding good passes.
After lunch, we headed back to the gym for some scrimmages. From what I could see, everyone was really getting after it. I was mostly focused on my own team, which was really sharing the ball and playing team defense. We played one 20-minute game, substituting five in and five out every five minutes and one 16-minute game substituting five in and five out every four minutes. The coach of each team gives its players an additional number 1 to 10 on top of their jersey number for substitution purposes.
The LeBron Skills Academy is designed to improve player’s skills through superior coaching and specialized instruction. So, all the work we had done is referred to as working on “me.” Today, we were transported to Cleveland for the King City Classic, where we will get a chance to work on the “we” factor of the game – working as a team.
Before we got a chance to leave Akron, we had a few things that we needed to do back at the hotel. The first thing was to pack up all of the gear Nike gave us and turn it back in to be shipped back to us after camp. The second thing was to double check how we were getting to Cleveland, whether it was by bus or with a parent.
And finally, we had to pack all of our stuff and catch the shuttle to the bus station. Strangely enough, the shuttles which dropped us off followed us to the bus station in Cleveland, picked us up again and drove us to the new hotel. I’ll never understand NCAA rules!
Once in Cleveland, it was like the whole experience started over again.
We all checked in again, got new credentials and received a new gear bag (the game shoes for the King City Classic are crazy). Since this is an NCAA-sanctioned event, we had to watch the NCAA video on eligibility that every high school basketball player has seen 650 times.
Game day tomorrow…and our games will actually be televised here in Cleveland!
Day 4 at the LeBron James Skills Academy (King City Classic)
Day four brought game day. I should actually say “games” day. With three scheduled games, we woke up with a bit of a challenge in front of us. Our first and second games were both seeding games to determine the championship and consolation brackets.
These games were set to be played at Cleveland State University’s arena. It was a great venue with two courts, a waiting area for players, a media seating and interview area, and plenty of seating for the many friends, family, and coaches who came to watch.
Unlike at the skills academies, the King City Classic didn’t just have members of the media, but there were also tons of college coaches. There was at least one coach from almost every major basketball program in the country, which can be good and bad. I don’t think anyone was nervous, but you can definitely see a difference when certain players are trying to impress. Thankfully, my team remained unselfish, even though we lost both of our seeding games.
As I said yesterday, everyone at camp will get the same total minutes played when it’s all said and done. It can get frustrating at times, but it exposes how players who are used to playing from start to finish do coming off the bench.
One interesting thing was throughout the day, different players were pulled aside for interviews with different members of the media. Whether it was local newspapers, national writers or Internet sites, players were getting extreme exposure.
The third game of the day was the first game of the bracket. My team was seeded 7th, so we played the No. 2 team. We kept to what we had been doing from day one, and won as a team this time. Even though these types of events are mostly about evaluation, I hate losing, so finishing the day strong felt great!