He won over Cardinal hearts, near and far, when he first committed to
Stanford over Kansas, Arizona and UCLA. His legend grew with each dunk,
drive, rebound and jumper, culminating in a sensational junior year where he led
the Cardinal in scoring and rebounding in a fabled season that saw Stanford win
their first 26 games. He was a First-Team AP and consensus All-American,
the school's first Pac-10 Player of the Year, and then that June became the
highest ever NBA Draft selection going #6 to the Atlanta Hawks.
Josh Childress was all of that, but he was and still remains a Stanford fan
favorite because of his engaging personality, infectious smile, and easy-going
demeanor that belies his superstar basketball abilities. Perhaps, then, we
should not be so surprised that the NBA swing man has chosen the Bay Area to be
the home of his namesake youth basketball camp. Rather than mining the
more obvious metropolis markets of his new home (Atlanta) or his childhood home
(Los Angeles), the Cardinal Basketball great has stuck his stake in the ground
with a premier camp on the Peninsula. From July 24-27, the Josh Childress
Basketball Camp 2006 will be held just a few miles north of The Farm in San
"The biggest reason for me is that this is where I went to school," Childress
explains of his camp location choice. "Everybody has a camp in L.A.
There's five million camps there. But there has never been a great camp
presence in the Stanford area. Even while I went to school, I couldn't
believe the lack of camps. NBA players have never come back and run their
camp in this area."
"All of our fans while I was in college were true Stanford fans and followed
the game. My experiences were very positive. I had a great time," he
continues. "I grew up an L.A. kid but developed a respect for the Bay
Area. It's fun to be in the area. I want to be established here and
develop a tradition."
tradition started last summer, when Childress put together his first camp in Los
Altos. It had little publicity or exposure, and there were first-time
lessons to be learned in running his own camp. But it was a tremendous
success for the kids who attended. The uniqueness of the camp experience
could have been alone defined by Childress' name and the high level of
basketball knowledge and ability he brings to the table as a college
All-American and rising NBA star. Instead, it was a personal touch and
attention that left so many kids smiling and screaming for more.
"I've seen a lot of camps and been a part of a lot of camps through the
years," Childress offers. "A lot of guys are there for a day or two out of
the four or five days, and they make a speech. Then they leave the
coaching process up to the guys they've hired. But the kids and their
parents pay money because this is the Josh Childress Camp - not for the guys
At least year's inaugural camp, Childress attended every day and was in the
thick of the instruction and events for four out of the six hours each day.
But that wasn't the best part. A handful of kids each day would have to
wait until their parents picked them up. Childress and his brother would
play basketball with the kids sometimes for up to an hour.
"Not every kid last year got to do it," Childress says. "It wasn't
anything fancy - me with my brother just playing with the kids. We would
give them some nice passes and give them confidence. I would flash a
little play here and there, too. I would dunk on a kid, and then all the
other kids were saying, 'Dunk on me. Dunk on me!'"
"They really enjoyed that," he adds. "And I did, too. That was
pretty much the best part of the camp."
"What I learned last year, when it's all said and done, is that kids want to
see me and be with me," Childress states. "So that's what I am to do - be
with the kids as much as I can."
Drawing on those lessons, there will be a new element to the Josh Childress
Basketball Camp. Camp participants play in scrimmages throughout the camp
on teams. The 6'8" namesake host will play in a game with every kid in the
camp. That game will be filmed, and subsequently reviewed personally by
the Atlanta Hawks star.
"We're not pulling out old Jordan highlight tapes," Childress says.
"I'm going to sit down with the kids and talk about what they should do in
situations we see on their film. We watch a ton of film in the NBA and
college - this gives them a glimpse of what to look for."
"I'll tailor the message for different levels," he continues. "For the
younger kids, it will be a little bit more fundamentals-based. For older
kids, we might talk about coming off down screens, and planting with your left
food instead of your right."
With this plan, philosophy and personal touches, the Josh Childress Camp is a
sure bet as a summer staple on the Peninsula for years to come. If you
want to learn more about this one-of-a-kind camp for your kid, go to
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