The first year of our overnight Plumlee Basketball Camp was amazing. The goal was to give kids from across the country an old school camp experience – play ball, have fun, meet new people and get some great coaching in the perfect setting. Mission accomplished. Nearly 80 kids from ten states and a talented coaching staff joined me and my parents at my alma mater, Christ School, for three memorable days in the mountains of Western North Carolina. The focus wasn’t on exposure or having to impress anyone, it was about learning, working hard and playing for the love of the game. We were also able to mix in some memorable non-basketball “camp” activities like campfires, hiking, and other sports. I think everyone had a great time and we definitely plan to make it an annual tradition.
I had a good feeling about camp right from the start of check-in. The campers and their families were enthusiastic to be there and everyone was so appreciative and excited for the opportunity. For some it was their first overnight camp experience and I’m humbled they chose to make it happen with us. I can’t say enough about the staff and how welcome they made everyone feel. We had a great mix of high school, college, and pro coaches and current college players. Some staff members were local and others traveled across the country just to work the three days of camp and even brought their own sons. It was clear how much they love working with kids and how skilled they are at connecting and communicating. It showed on and off the court throughout camp.
We started each day with an open “early bird” workout in the gym at 7 AM. Campers were welcome to get their own work in or could watch me go through my NBA workout. By the third day almost every camper was in the gym by 7 AM and some showed up even earlier to put in work. After breakfast in the dining hall there was an hour of individual improvement drills and 30-minute breakout sessions focused on strength and conditioning, film work, speed and agility, and nutrition and recovery. We had some special guests come through to guide these sessions and I ran the film room and showed breakdowns from some of my NBA games. I loved how engaged the campers were – lots of great questions.
We had lunch and a rest period followed by a fun camp activity – hiking through the woods, capture the flag, even some ultimate frisbee – and then returned to the gym for one more practice before dinner. Each evening concluded with round robin games divided by age (we split everyone up into NCAA, G-League and NBA divisions).
One of my favorite memories of camp this summer was our all-camp gathering at Christ School’s beautiful lakeside outdoor chapel. We had a powerful conversation about gratitude and staff and campers shared some of what they are most grateful for in their lives. Some other great memories included our campfire with s’mores and all-camp “Coach Says” (a version of Simon Sez run by one of our incredible coaches, Carlos Daniel).
Camp concluded with team playoffs, an award ceremony and some delicious custard provided by Culver’s. It was the perfect conclusion to three awesome days.
A huge thanks to Christ School for making our camp a possibility. The Christ School staff, led by Eric Thorp, went above and beyond. Everything from the facilities to the meals to the warm welcome helped made camp a huge success. I continue to be so grateful and proud to call myself a Greenie.
Looking forward to running it back next summer!