No Shortage Of Reasons To Be At Nike Camp
Robbie Hummel
Robbie Hummel
Scout National Basketball Columnist
Posted Jul 8, 2006


From watching some of the best college AND and high school players in the country, and seeing a future Hall of Famer sitting courtside, the Nike All-America Camp was definitely the place to be Friday if basketball interests you at all.

INDIANAPOLIS – Assuming you are a basketball follower of more than just the casual variety, Friday afternoon and evening visits to the National Institute of Fitness and Sports would have been fruitful for a multitude of reasons:

 

*You would have had an up-close peek at 30 of the better college players in the country next season, serving as counselors at the Nike All-America Camp, as they drilled and scrimmaged in lunch- and dinner-time sessions in front of representatives of at least a dozen NBA teams.

 

*You might have had sensory overload while being exposed to the talents of two high school seniors-to-be that go by the same name – Chris Wright – but impressed the several hundred college coaches in attendance for very different reasons.

 

*You might have watched as two players – Robbie Hummel (Valparaiso) and E’Twaun Moore (East Chicago Central) – demonstrated why Eric Gordon of Indianapolis North Central, who is toying with opponents at the adidas Superstar Camp in Suwanee, Ga., is going to have considerable competition for Indiana’s Mr. Basketball honors next spring.

 

*You could have checked out scorer-extraordinaire Austin Freeman, the next “great” player out of one of the most accomplished high school programs in the country, DeMatha in Hyattsville, Md.

 

*And you might have noticed the “real” Michael Jordan, in an era that seems to offer a “next” Michael Jordan every five minutes or so, as the now-president of the Charlotte Bobcats checked out his son showing off his point guard skills.

 

Many veterans of the All-America Camp were serving as counselors and their twice-daily workouts at the camp were the reason so many NBA employees were courtside spectators in the NIFS Friday afternoon and early evening.

 

Corey Brewer, Taurean Green and Al Horford, starters on the Florida squad that won the national championship three months ago barely a half-mile east of here in the RCA Dome, were among the 30 counselors that were building their NBA resumes Friday.

 

The guy who is most likely to be found on the majority of preseason first-team All-America teams at point guard, Ronald Steele, was joined as camp counselors by two Alabama teammates, post players Jermareo Davidson and Richard Hendrix, who will help make Mark Gottfried’s squad a consensus preseason Top 10 selection next fall.

 

But the player who attracted as much “buzz” as any from the NBA types on hand was Florida State forward Al Thornton, who should be one of the more explosive scorers in the Atlantic Coast Conference and beyond next season.

 

The only mild bummer about watching the counselors in action was in seeing one of the most talented of them on the disable list. Watching from the bleachers, 6-10 sophomore Josh McRoberts, apparently sidelined because of ankle sprain suffered during a camp at Duke.

 

The “two Chris Wrights” are separated by about five or six inches in size but there isn’t much, if any, talent gap between the seniors-to-be at Madison High in Trotwood, Ohio, and St. John’s High in Washington, D.C.

 

The 6-6 Ohio-version of Chris Wright, who committed to Dayton in November, occupied his time by dunking anything that wasn’t nailed or latched to a floor Friday.

 

This is just a hunch but there could have been one or two – or a couple of hundred – coaches watching that might have a scholarship waiting for Ohio’s Wright if his allegiance to Dayton waivers. If it doesn’t, I’ve got a favorite for the 2008 Atlantic 10 Freshman of the Year right now.

 

I didn’t see a more athletically explosive high school player in the camp Friday, or during 1½ days of viewing in Suwanee, for that matter.

 

The 6-1 D.C.-version of Wright, who “de-committed” from North Carolina State after Herb Sendek headed to Arizona State in the spring, was as cool-headed a guard as was on display Friday and seemed to drop in 3-pointers, contested or otherwise, with near-boring ease.

 

New Indiana University Coach Kelvin Sampson is anchored to Bloomington because of NCAA sanctions that followed him from his previous gig at the University of Oklahoma.

 

My hunch is that Sampson didn’t need to watch Robbie Hummel and E’Twaun Moore a couple dozen times this month to “evaluate” their skills and offer them scholarships. He may have had that one pegged before he agreed to move from Norman.

 

There might not be a more versatile “wing” in the country that the 6-7 Hummel, who was the first player mentioned by several coaches I talked to who watched the Nike action Thursday (while I was still at the adidas camp).

 

Deep jumpers . . . a flawless mid-range game . . . either-hand drives to the rim . . . the ability to deliver on-the-money passes . . . Hummel is about as complete as you’re going to see, at least offensively, on the high school level.

 

And the 6-3 Moore seemed to be scoring every bit as easily as was Freeman, who is committed to Georgetown. It’s difficult to imagine many more than a half-dozen or so other two guards in the Class of 2007 with their scoring skills.

 

*And how would you have liked to try to focus on “just playing your game” when your dad, the most dominant player in the past two decades, is sitting courtside?

 

But Jeffrey Jordan was more than up to the task Friday night.

 

The left-handed point guard from Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Ill., was slick, poised and effective while getting the ball to teammates at optimum moments or penetrating and scoring.

 

It will be interesting to see who offers him scholarships (and how about the home visits: “Well, Mr. Jordan – we think your son can really help us”) between now and the November signing period.



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 -by IlliniPlaybook.com  Jul 7, 2006
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 -by AllHoosiers.com  Jul 6, 2006

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