Five-Star is back. The iconic basketball boot camp that has produced over 500 NBA players is relaunching this summer in tandem with the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA), the official union for current NBA players.
The collaboration will take shape July 15-18 at the inaugural NBPA x Five-Star Camp at Basketball City in NYC, and will provide boys and girls ages 9-17 with a structured basketball learning experience emphasizing fundamental skill development and quality competition.
“We are excited about this collaboration and the impact it will have on the next generation of youth basketball,” Dan Gladstone, the NBPA’s Senior Vice President of Grassroots Basketball and Business Development, told SLAM. “Combining our passion for grassroots basketball with such a historic camp in Five-Star, we are confident that this partnership will build a unique experience for campers and leave a legacy that will help to continue to grow the game we all know and love.”
Five-Star traces its roots back to the summer of 1966, when two founders— Howard Garfinkel and Will Klein—six counselors, and 62 campers converged on an outdoor campground in upstate New York to feast on the finer fundamentals of basketball.
Future Hall of Famers, Hubie Brown and Chuck Daly, taught and lectured at that very first session in ’66. Bob Knight invented the concept of “teaching stations” as the camp’s lead instructor two years later. And hundreds of future NBA and college coaches, including Rick Pitino, John Calipari, and Brad Stevens would all launch their careers on Five-Star’s courts.
More than a cradle for coaches, Five-Star has been a proving ground for everyday blue-collar players and blue chips alike. Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Chris Paul (current NBPA President), Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Kemba Walker, and Kyrie Irving have all worn the iconic orange and white camp t-shirt.
Over 50 years and 250,000 campers later, Five-Star remains a rite of passage for young basketball players and who better to partner with than the NBPA, which runs successful camps of their own and whose cadre of players are the game’s most globally recognized.