Parents always have questions about which camps are for development and which camps are for exposure? Some want the top shelf competition, and others want skill development. It’s a lot to choose from, and 95% of camps are “money grabs”, you have to do thorough research on the camp itself, the directors, and past participants. I’m always here as a reference point for anyone who needs help navigating through the forest. I tried to give a brief synopsis of the camp & it’s purpose. Here are a few of the camps I chose to discuss.
Coach Pete Camps– This camp is for players who are trying to see what level they are, & what they need to do to get better. Will get good instruction, CREDIBLE feedback and evaluation of the camper. Mostly drills & some games during camp. Coach Pete Schwethelm does a great job of really giving parents/kids what they pay for. Pete has coached at the collegiate level, and also has a scouting service. The evaluation alone is worth it. Depending on location camps can vary between 30-50 campers. If your son has really good grades, and is a quality basketball player, he should attend the HS academic camps. LEVEL- Intermediate-Good/High Academic
John Lucas Enterprises Camps– Honestly I feel like Lucas camps should be for the good to elite players. Most of his camps are invite only. However there are players who attend his camps that are “intermediate” level players. More a test of will, and skill. Lots of different drills, with quality instructors. Also added strength and agility drills her recently. The camp is dedicated to see who’s really elite and who’s talking about being elite. High level players from all over the country attends his camps. Has multiple camps during the year. Players will get evaluated by several NATIONAL members of the grassroots basketball media. Playing well enough at Lucas camps when you’re older will help you get invited to the NBPA Top 100 camp. A national brand/camp. LEVEL- Good-Elite
ScoutFocus Camps– I’m not as familiar with Scout Focus camps. In the past they have had some really high level players at camp. I’m always a little leery of regional camps outside of John Lucas’ camps. On their website they claim to “hire current college coaches to coach the players at our individual events. (99%+ of our coaches are college coaches.)” I know that the high level guys who attend get a lot more shine which is normal. I think this camp is also more suited for players with a big rep or a national ranking. They will have national members of the media there as well. For parents here locally, if Alan Branch, who’s affiliated with this camp, is not actually in attendance, I wouldn’t send my son.
Future 150– This may sound like hate, but this is a money grab camp. It’s hard for me to knock anyone’s hustle, and they have a good one, but I wouldn’t send my son to a Future150 camp. From the instruction to the set up of the camp, I’m not sure how credible it is. Concerning Houston, they don’t hire or employ anybody here with a scouting service who could pick up the phone and help your son. So for me, that’s tough, they have so many “regional camps” but no other members of the local, state or national media? And the same goes for their tournaments as well. LEVEL- Average- Intermediate
USA Basketball– Invite only, cream of the crop kids. High level kids, and top 50 players nationally are invited to USA basketball. Unless it’s the regional camps, which in this case, I’m not a fan. Yes, you will get quality instruction, but don’t get it confused,, they will NEVER mix the 2 camps. Your son could get MVP at every regional non-invite USA basketball camp and will never get a chance to sniff the invite only camp weekends in Colorado Springs. LEVEL-ELITE (Regional Camps-Beginner-Intermediate)
Rucker on Wood– DISCLAIMER, this is NOT a camp, it’s an event but I added it here because of the value. All Houston kids should attend this event if you get invited. Period, end of discussion. This is where you continue to earn your stripes, and compete without your shoe teams, independent summer teams. Sometimes during the school year, or summer ball season you don’t get to see certain match ups. So ROW is the platform where all of the local grassroots media is there to evaluate you on your own merit. Maybe they didn’t get a chance to watch your son play during the summer, and here’s a chance for them to really get a good look. Invite Only- Intermediate-Elite
West Coast Elite Academic Camp (Dallas)– Ryan Silver and his staff put on camps for kids with high academics. They actually have high academic colleges there in attendance, various levels of schools, D2, D3, NAIA, & Ivy League schools. Again if your son has really good grades, and is a quality basketball player, he should be in the building. He has a long reach with college coaches, especially in that realm. Quality instruction and promotion, also hires media members, & coaches/trainers in Texas who also have scouting services and are in contact with college coaches. LEVEL- High Academic
Pangos Frosh/Soph camp– Dinos Trigonis does a great job of hiring local coaches, and id very accommodating to local & state media. Good instruction, then kids play games for 2 days. Similar to John Lucas’s camps. Will attract a lot of top talent. Some parents bring their kids to “check their temperature” among their peers. Most of the camp is comprised with invite only players, but closer to the date if you weren’t invited, you can register online. You can get exposure or exposed at this camp. Also has a Top 30 game, and Top 60 game. Most of the all star game selections are political, meaning, at least 75% of the game is already picked because of who the kids are. However, these top players still have to have a decent showing to remain on the list. You can get you recruiting and & buzz up with a breakout performance at this camp. LEVEL- Intermediate-Elite
The Next Wave (Dallas)– Kellen Buffington, who has a NCAA certified Scouting service (The TB5 Reports) puts on a camp that’s similar to ROW, & Pangos. Kids get a chance to compete in drills & then get some 5 on 5 action. Local & state media is in attendance, very good camp for kids in Dallas who want that extra look from evaluators. Top tier kids in the DFW area are invited. This year camp was the same weekend as John Lucas’ camp. Was a GREAT alternative for some players who didn’t attend Lucas. LEVEL-Intermediate-Elite
Cream of the Crop (Dallas)– Long time scout, Alan Branch, has his event for middle schoolers in Texas. DFW kids attend this event as its in Dallas every year, but because of the 5State Hoop Report, which is a NCAA certified scouting service, players from OK, Louisiana, & Arkansas have made the trek to Dallas. Local and state evaluators are there to lay eyes on the young players. Kids go through a series of drills in the 1st half of camp, then they are placed on teams for camp games. This camp also has an all star game. Ani Umana, who works with Branch, hand selects the campers and this is also primarily an invite only camp. LEVEL- Average to Elite