Monarchs help shape future stars at hoops camp

Jason Wade hoops camp
Posted at 10:51 PM, Aug 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-04 22:51:23-04

NORFOLK, VA (WTKR)- Basketball season is not that far away and soon Old Dominion's players will be immersed in preparing for the 2022-2023 season. Summer, however, offers them a chance to help the younger crowd.

Monarch players and staff served as coaches and counselors at this week's Jeff Jones Basketball Camp held on campus. It gave the student-athletes a chance to teach younger players skills, fundamentals and teamwork.

"It's great," freshman guard Bryce Baker said. "Kids are here to have fun, learn more. We're here to do the same. We're here to just give back to the community and have a great time with them."

"I remember when I was this age, just having fun with basketball," added sophomore guard Imo Essien. "It's awesome to see the passion and the happiness these guys have."

The camp ran Monday-Thursday and was for players in grades 2-12. It reminded the Monarchs of times when they were getting to learn the game and the people who helped shape them. Now they serve as role models for potential up and coming future stars.

"A lot of guys, they don't get this opportunity," Essien noted. "They don't get this opportunity to be able to give back to the community with the craft that they have, so I'm blessed and I'm fortunate to be able to use the game that I love to show compassion for the younger group."

While the college standouts hope they helped with skills and development during the week, the thing they want the campers to take away the most is the love of the game.

"The passion for the game," Baker said of what he wants the young players to remember about working with him. "I want them to love every minute of it, have fun with it and just do their best."

"When you get older, things get harder," Essien added. "As I get older, life brings more challenges so have fun. Just find ways to have fun, keep smiling and enjoy yourself."

This was the second Jeff Jones Basketball Camp of the summer as another session was held back in June. Mekhi Long, Charles Smith IV and Jason Wade were among the other Monarchs working with the campers throughout the week.