Paul Webb Basketball Camp returns after two year hiatus

Skills coach Ganon Baker headlines Wednesday session
Paul Webb Basketball Camp
Posted at 9:36 PM, Jul 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-13 23:00:03-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (WTKR)- Not since 2019 had young players been able to enjoy the Paul Webb Basketball Camp, but this summer is seeing the event run business as usual.

"It's just great to get back in the gym with the kids," said camp director Eddie Webb, Paul's son. "Going two years and not being able to do anything, I don't know who's more excited, the kids or the parents."

The camp's two year hiatus was due to the pandemic, but things are back to normal in 2022. Five Paul Webb Camps grace the calendar, the third one being held this week at Virginia Beach's Corporate Landing Middle School. Eddie Webb noted that participation numbers are hitting their pre-pandemic levels for the sessions. The camp's reputation is strong, as is its longevity, with this being the 56th year the Webb's have put on the event.

As about 200 campers went through drills and played games in the middle school's gym, Paul Webb himself sat on the bleachers taking it all in. The former Old Dominion head coach is still very much involved in the camp, much to the delight of his son.

"He's still here with the camp," the younger Webb smiled. "At 93-years old, he still comes everyday. He doesn't do his defensive slides anymore, but he still enjoys it. The two of us have done it for so many years, it's just been a lot of fun together."

This year's event featured a treat for young campers. Wednesday saw professional skills and development coach Ganon Baker serve as a guest speaker. Baker once attended these camps himself as a kid and now looks to pass down some skills to the next generation. He's worked with Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant and Chris Paul, just to name a few, and he was more than happy to come back to share his knowledge.

"I'm trying to deposit emotional seeds, physical seeds, spiritual seeds so these kids can use basketball as a platform to go out and be a winning player in their community," he said.

"He also started as a six or seven year old in our camps," Eddie recalled. "He had fun when he was here and I think the one thing you'll find that his message to them is 'if you work hard, you can achieve your dreams.'"

Baker went through a fun and enthusiastic session with the campers, engaging them in drills and discussions. He remembers how much he enjoyed the camp as a young player and what others did for him. Now he's looking to give back.

"I always believe to pay it forward," Baker noted. "Paul and Eddie Webb changed my life. They gave me an opportunity to get better, to get inspired, to get motivated, so now as a coach I just want to return the favor and do something for somebody else."

Baker was a high school state champion at Hampton High School.

Is the next Ganon Baker in this year's crop of young players? We'll get that answer a handful of years down the road, but the Webbs are doing their best to make sure every single camper enjoys their experience.

"Basketball's a game. They should be having fun," the younger Webb said of what he hopes the kids take away from the week. "We try to explain to them that if you'll pay attention to our coaches and let them teach you, you'll have a lot more success at this game. It's like anything. If you're doing well, you'll continue to do it."

For more information on Paul Webb Basketball Camps, click here.