The Pueblo West View

Nuggets camp heads to Pueblo

It’s not quite the same talent pool as the NBA, but traveling to Pueblo to teach basketball is something Derek Griffin and his staff have sought since the start of the camp.

After five years of hosting the camp in various cities and as far away as Wyoming, the Denver Nuggets Youth camp navigates its way to Dolores Huerta Prepatory High School July 21-25 as part of the Nuggets Youth Basketball Program.

It’s the first year the camp is in Pueblo and Griffin said that his staff is eager to visit the city and teach the youth the game.

“We’re excited to come down and spend the week in Pueblo.” Griffin said.

“This is a new location for us and we’ve had people come up from Pueblo to do our camps before.”

Griffin added that the fundamentals of basketball are imperative for any player; professional or beginner.

Specific skills at each position – from point guard to center – are some of the focal points emphasized each year. Campers face in-game situations demonstrating how they respond to pressure moments, 5-on-5 drills and dribbling and defensive exercises to hone their talent.

With the busy schedules, various appearances and other engagements of Denver Nuggets players, Griffin said they cannot guarantee that players will show up to the camp.

That does not jeopardize the product the Nuggets Youth Basketball Program provides nor does it affect the lessons taught to the campers because of the knowledgeable staff.

Former Colorado University star Marcus King-Stockton is available to share his knowledge as a player and a big man to the campers. Griffin also has a wealth of basketball wisdom to boast.

Along with three other coaches on staff, Griffin plays on the Men’s National 3-on-3 team. Griffin recently spent 10 days in Greece teaching coaches how to instill basketball in their players.

With his global experience and King-Stockton’s success at the collegiate level, Griffin feels his staff has a recipe to capture youth’s attention and deliver the tutelage they desire.

“As coaches we like to use personal experience like ‘hey this is what we were doing at this point in our lives,’” Griffin said.

“We have to find coaches who communicate well. When we communicate it (basketball) properly, the kids will see the urgency of why it’s important to play hard all the time.”

On defense, communication is not only crucial to alert every one of their screens and game-time situations, but it also gives a team extra offensive opportunities to get ahead.

Griffin wishes to illustrate to his campers at the school that communication and teamwork are vital in life.

“It’s important to play hard for the person next to you because in life you’re going to be working with people and you have to work as a group to get to the common goal,” Griffin said.

The price of the five-day camp is $240. Visit thebasketballacademy.com/nuggets.html to sign up and additional information about the Denver Nuggets camp. Contact Derek Griffin for more information regarding the camp at the school.

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