For the second straight year, the Carlos Boozer Basketball Camp is back in Juneau to give the youth around the community a chance to learn the sport of basketball from one of the NBA's best.
Carlos Boozer, one of Juneau's own and new starting power forward for the Chicago Bulls, said he relishes the opportunity to come back to the place where he grew up for the chance to educate kids in the game of basketball and in life.
"I want to teach these kids the fundamentals of the game, let them enjoy basketball and give back to my community," he said. "I grew up in a great environment where I got a chance to play basketball and live on safe streets. I want to give back to these people because I wouldn't be where I am without the people of Juneau and the kids I grew up with.
"It's great to be able to come back and give back to a place that did so much for me."
The week-long camp - which begins today and runs through Friday - will provide instruction in fundamental development skills and will move into competitions, including many refereed games. Campers will compete in a three-day season which culminates in a championship game on Friday.
Boozer's camp will begin at 9 a.m. and end at 3 p.m. daily, and kids can still sign up to be a camper this morning if they have not already. The fee is $185 per camper and includes 30 hours of instruction from professional coaches.
All proceeds from the camp will go directly to Boozer's Buddies, a foundation created to help kids fight sickle-cell anemia, a disease that has affected Boozer's son, Carmani.
"The money goes toward helping those kids that are in need like my son was," Boozer said. "So it goes to a good cause and I get a chance to come back, play some basketball and just have fun."
Assisting Boozer for the second straight year will be Jay Williams, a former member of the Chicago Bulls and a former teammate of Boozer's at Duke University.
Campers will also receive a Carlos Boozer Basketball Camp T-shirt, a camp basketball and an autographed picture of Boozer. At the end of the camp, awards are given out to recognize campers who exhibit exemplary attitude and sportsmanship, as well as those who perform the best on the court.
But the camp isn't all about basketball. Boozer said it's also an opportunity to use his accomplishments as an example to show the kids of Juneau what they can accomplish through hard work and resolve.
"We also talk about staying in school and being one of those kids that is active in the classroom, not one of those kids that sits in the back of the room and just chills," he said. "We want to teach these kids some foundations that they may or may not have gotten at home.
"We want these kids to go after their dreams."
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