It probably goes without saying, but the grassroots basketball landscape has changed a lot over recent years. This is evidenced through a variety of different forms, especially regarding the way general competition has dwindled. That being said, it's somewhat understandable. Basketball becoming a year-round game has caused a clear ripple effect at all levels of the sport. Playing so many games naturally dampens the competitive spirit and overall value of each individual contest. The friendships and comradery (while fantastic) haven't done any favors for the intensity of the sport (again, at any level). Kids have strayed further and further away from the basic fundamentals of the game in order to chase highlight-reel plays. How does this pertain to camps' Let's take a look'
As stated above, competitiveness is simply lacking. Camps have always served as a tool to compete with other talented players while sharpening one's basic skillset. Even the incredibly talented Top 80 Camps used to be an event where kids wanted to outperform each other in front of their peers. Coby White and Devon Dotson going toe-to-toe in 2017 is a perfect example. Both guys were already established high-major prospects being measured against one another for status/rankings, so they both came to camp, put on a show (of quality basketball, not the all-star game nonsense), and reaffirmed they were the top two players in the state. Neither guy had to come nor did they need to compete with intensity, yet they did, simply because that's how they are wired. There are plenty of other scenarios, like Jayden Gardner leaving to get stitches, returning to camp, and winning an award. This newfound fear of an injury waiting right around the corner is strange, considering it was never a thought that really crossed folks' minds prior to these last few years. Ultimately, competing has obvious value. There have been so many players (both with and without status) who have come through our camp and gone on to play at the highest possible levels.
Another way Phenom Hoops' camps differ from others is through exposure. No other entity puts out more thorough camp evaluations (for every attendee, not just the top performers) at every single camp. The videos, written content, and opportunity to be seen by D3, JUCO, and NAIA programs each have clear value. We still have video clips and written pieces of various NBA players’ respective showings at camp. Although being assessed and having an evaluation to use as a tool for improvement is very useful, the chance to be seen by college coaches has obvious significance. Many schools have gotten their first viewing or extended offers to prospects at these events. For middle school prospects, this is a fantastic opportunity to make a lasting impression prior to the start of their high school journey.
Many camps can be disorganized or dysfunctional, but ours have consistently been praised for their level of professionalism. Beyond Rick Lewis (who founded the company and originally established the camp to learn foundational skills), both Colby and Tyler Lewis have extensive experience playing the game at a high level. Furthermore, our coaching staff is made up of qualified individuals throughout the state. The Phenom 150, Jr. Phenom, and Top 80 camps are quietly some of the most worthwhile events on our schedule'both for staff and the participating players.
Take a look at some of the players who came through our camp just in the last few years:
Ricky Council IV
These are only some of the names, as there are countless more who are playing overseas, G-League, or still within the college basketball ranks.