JUNEAU - Not only is Utah Jazz star forward Carlos Boozer returning to his hometown this week to host a basketball camp for area youths, he's also bringing along some friends - former Dukies Corey Maggette and Jay Williams.
Maggette was a one-and-done player who left Duke before Boozer and Williams arrived in 1999. Since, he's averaged 16.3 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game during a 10-year NBA career. Maggette currently plays for Golden State.
Williams and Boozer played together for three seasons in college, winning three straight ACC regular season and tournament titles, earning three straight NCAA Tournament No. 1 seeds and the 2001 national championship. Williams' professional career was cut short after a 2003 motorcycle accident. He has since moved into ESPN's broadcast booth as a college basketball analyst.
"Both Dukies, both Blue Devils," Boozer said of his star-studded camp staff. "Corey's been one of the best scorers in the game over the last 10 years, and Jay Will was one of the top two or three guards to ever play college basketball. He was the player of the year twice, and the second pick in the draft behind Yao Ming before his unfortunate motorcycle accident.
"We're going to have a good time with the kids," he continued. "And the kids are going to get a chance to talk to these guys and hear their stories, as well as my story about where we came from and how we got to where we are, and a host of other things as well."
The camp is for kids ages 7-17, and will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday at Juneau-Douglas High School. Cost is $150 per child, with half of the proceeds benefiting Boozer's foundation, Boozer's Buddies.
Boozer's Buddies is "a foundation that helps raise money for kids that have sickle cell anemia like my son Carmani did before we cured it," Boozer said. "It's a very expensive procedure, so I know that we were very fortunate to be able to be in a position where we could afford the medicine and the procedure. A lot of families can't afford it, so my wife and I raise money to help those families that need it.
"So it's a good cause, and at the same time, your kid will have a lot of fun."
Boozer said kids can expect to learn fundamentals and then apply what they learn in games against each other.
"We'll be working on every facet of the game throughout the course of the week, but we'll also be playing games so the kids can implement what they've learned, and they can see where they've improved throughout the course of the week," he said. "On Fantastic Friday, we'll have a tournament with the different age groups to see who will become champions."
Boozer led JDHS to back-to-back state titles and was a three-time state player of the year. In addition to being an NCAA champion, Boozer also won an Olympic gold medal as a member of 2008's Redeem Team, playing for his former coach, Mike Krzyzewski. And he even has teaching credentials. During the 2006-2007 season, Boozer appeared in the NBA Fundamentals series on TNT, teaching post moves.
Boozer hinted he may have a few other tricks up his sleeve for campers.
"We're going to have a a lot of giveaways, from camp T-shirts to signed autographed pictures - all kinds of different things and some surprises, especially for the kids that show up and really work their butts off," he said.
"I'll be there the entire camp and I'm really looking forward to being there. It will be a lot of fun."
Register for the camp at www.cbfcamp.com or call 1-800-725-6958 for more information. Boozer donated 50 camp scholarships to the United Way and some may still be available. Both an application and release form need to be signed and sent to United Way of SE Alaska, PO Box 20249, 3100 Channel Drive Suite #325, Juneau AK 99802. You may also call 463-5530 or fax 463-4649 or send an e-mail to email@example.com.