I spent Tuesday morning checking out the final day of Stephen Curry’s youth basketball camp in Pebble Beach, California. The Human Torch, as he’s been dubbed, hosts several camps throughout the offseason, some with Papa Dell and others by his lonesome. Granted, I didn’t tour them all, but if the session ending Aug. 20 at Monterey County’s ultra-fancy Stevenson School wasn’t the best camp of the bunch, I’d be shocked.
Here are the top six reasons Curry is doing it right:
1. He shows up
This isn’t some Dwight Howard slap-your-name-on-a-shirt-and-never-show-up circus. Curry spends up to seven hours per day with the torches-in-training.
2. He brings Dell
Probably more fun for the dads in the bleachers than the kids on the court, but silver-coiffed Dell Curry hangs out on the side and puts up jumpers while Steph runs the show.
“When I was a young kid, I used to look forward to every August when (my dad’s) camp was going to come around,” Curry said Tuesday morning. “That was the best week ever. So to see him come back and support me at my camp is a big deal.”
3. He’s available
The basketball camps I went to 15 years ago had D-list pros like Tyus Edney and Charles O’Bannon show up for 30 minutes, talk about nothing and take off*. Curry, arguably the best shooter in the world, is the opposite.
“At first the campers were star-struck, but … I told them if they see me walking around the gym and they have questions about the game or anything they want to ask, they can feel free to do it and I’ll talk to them,” Curry said. “When I’m here, I’m available, so nothing’s off limits.”
*One year Andre Miller came, but all I can remember is him talking about shooting fundamentals, which was about as useful as a Mike Dunleavy seminar on toughness. So it doesn’t count.
4. He can do this
Who knew the guy could jump? And no, they didn’t lower the rims. I asked.
5. He’s got stories
You pack an arsenal of anecdotes when you grow up in NBA arenas. For Steph, it was all about jockeying for position with the Jumpman.
“Obviously Michael Jordan was the guy,” Steph told me Tuesday. “I knew when the Bulls were coming into town to try to position myself in the locker room and hallway where I knew he had to cross my path and maybe say hi. That was always something I looked forward to.”
6. He cuts you a deal
Well, he cuts the kids a deal at least. You try staying in Pebble Beach for four days on a $695 budget. There are dog walkers in Carmel charging more.