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Squeaky Johnson’s Basketball Camp
Former Hornet and New Orleans’ own Squeaky Johnson hosted a basketball camp for local kids.
During the week of June 18th, the five-day Squeaky Johnson Skills and Drills Fatherhood Basketball Camp was held in the Elmwood area of Greater New Orleans.
The camp featured 64 kids from ages 6 to 16 and from all over the area. The coaches included:
- Squeaky Johnson – Austin Toros, New Orleans Hornets
- Julian Wright – New Orleans Hornets, Toronto Raptors, Austin Toros
- Ryan Brock – UNO Privateers, Loyola Wolfpack
The camp was directed by Squeaky’s brand manager, Alvianne Brule’ of Zahkii Sports.
Throughout the day, lessons were given by the coaches about attitude and life skills. Besides lectures from professional basketball players, Michael Franklin, the disciplinarian from St. Augustine’s and a great speaker, came down to give additional perspective.
On the basketball side of the house, the campers participated in activities one would expect. These were segmented for age-appropriateness, with younger kids being given NBA-level leeway on traveling calls and being spared weaving drills. Other routines included shooting drills, dribbling exercises, short 5-on-5 full court games complete with in-game commentary and scorers’ table interview.
Other fun drills included a game of “Coach Says”, a variation of Simon Says led by Coach Brock where he leads the kids through basketball basics . . . sometimes. They also held a dance contest, a dunk contest, and had snowballs for the campers . . . and the coaches. Camp ended with a presentation of a certificate to each camper, a concert by PyraKyd, some giveaways from the New Orleans Hornets, a photo with Squeaky, one last “bring-it-in,” and cake.
Plus, many campers stayed late to shoot some more. Who was going to kick those kids out? A little extra, always.
That just about covers the bases in the New Orleans way of doing things.
Squeaky’s Other Community Work
In addition to this camp, Squeaky is organizing two others this summer: one is Houston, one in Birmingham. He also helped with an Austin Toros camp.
Additionally, Squeaky works with two girls AAU teams in Houston. He plans to add a boys team in the Summer of 2013.
Back 2 Basics
The host for the camp is Back 2 Basics Basketball Academy. Open less than a year, the facility features several goals, a regulation court, weight, and staff with professional basketball experience. They offer monthly memberships in addition to group and private training. Back 2 Basics also hosts league play.
No other local facility does what Back 2 Basics does, and we will be checking in with them periodically to see how New Orleans is figuring into the path to professional basketball domestically, as they have already figured into placing players overseas.
For those who didn’t follow Squeaky after he left the New Orleans Hornets, he was warmly welcomed back to the Austin Toros. This worked out well for both parties, as the Toros won the D-League Championship for the first time in the organization’s history, even going back to the Columbus days.
Julian Wright, who joined the Toros in February 2012, was another former Hornet on the championship roster.
Ryan Brock, a Brother Martin stand-out and Loyola alumnus, will be looking to get on a roster in Europe in the coming weeks.
Must... fight... desire.. to... comment... on... Julian... Wright... giving... lectures... about... attitude... and... life... skills...
Great to see this. Squeaky is an inspiration--he had a dream to make it to the NBA despite not having the talent. His perseverance paid off when he made the Hornets as a rookie despite being 28. It's also great to see Juju back in town. While most readers of this blog (including me!) didn't appreciate what he brought to the floor while he played for the Bees, it's tough not to respect a man who gives back to the community. One thing Hornets management has done pretty well since the Baron Davis era is to bring good guys to the team. And now getting some good guys who are also good players!
Squeaky was one of my son's favorites when he was here. Always tons of energy and passion. Someone us average-height people can relate to.... Glad to hear he is still involved in Nola!
He was giving them to kids... helps? In fact, his mom picked him up from the camp the day I was there. Blending in with the youth.
The only helpful speech that he can give to young people is, "I lied to the world about really wanting to play pro basketball, took their million+ dollars and then focused on mixing and matching other people's creative efforts. Now I'm unemployed."