2nd Annual Midwest Invitation Camp Post Event Coverage
By John Lucas Enterprises
The 2nd Annual John Lucas Midwest Invitational Camp (MWIC) lived up to expectations once again. Players were challenged through four hours of stations that stressed fundamental skills and team play.
IHOOPS representative Duke Pryor presented to the players the importance of appearance, first impressions, taking things seriously when it comes to your lives and making decisions that affect their futures.
During the first set of games players did not implement the team concepts learned in drills Coach Lucas took offense sternly telling each them, ''you just wasted four hours of teaching to go out there and play like you were playing an AAU game focused on me, me, me; that will get you benched at the next level (college), and cut at the highest level (NBA).'' This raised the bar for team play on Day Two. However, certain players were singled out for selfish play and coaches were given free rein to sub players out of the games for selfish plays.
Former division one head coach, Perry Clark concluded the first day speaking on the importance of setting goals and making a commitment to development. Day Two started at 7:30 am and was very telling about which players were committed to improving.
Head coach of Team USA, Don Showalter and Assistant Men's National Team Director, BJ Johnson spoke on their program and Team USA trials to represent our country and the commitment involved.
John Lucas III who most recently was a member of the Chicago Bulls, spoke to the players about the commitment it took for him to make the NBA and what sacrifices he's made in his life to maintain and keep striving to stay in the league. His message was simply how to respond to adversity, which is more important than the adversity itself and to always work hard.
The players got started with a two hour station session to reemphasize the fundamentals from Day One. When games began, the play vastly improved. Players started to figure out how to translate the drills and spacing into the games.
Coach Lucas closed camp along with former Louisville Cardinal/NBA veteran and current entrepreneur Junior Bridgeman who talked about using the game to take you places you want to go, using it to earn your college degree and meet people who can help you in your future.
Overall, Coach Lucas was pleased with the skill level and performance of the 2011 Camp commenting, ''this group was as talented a group I have seen anywhere and I want to thank Brian Merritt and my staff for doing such a great job recruiting the talent throughout the spring and summer. As unhappy as I was from the first set of games I was as equally pleased with the progress made in the second set of games, these kids just need to take what they have learned and implement it into their play back with their own teams and learn from their mistakes and the mistakes of their teammates.''