4th Annual Internaltional Middle School Combine Post Event Write Up
By John Lucas Basketball Resources
The 4th Annual John Lucas International Middle School Combine in Houston, TX at St. John's High School recently brought the camp to new heights and raised the bar on elite middle school camps!
The talent in the gym was unbelievable with high risers throwing down tomahawk dunks, point guards crossing guys up and getting in the lane, big men banging and fighting for rebounds. There were over 30 states represented as well as Australia, Africa and Canada in this group of 90 blue chip prospects. The players were drilled intensly through a rigorous 3 hours station session, focusing on ball handling, passing, shooting, conditioning, spacing, defensive fundamentals, and post moves. Guest speakers were at a premium as well as six McDonald's All American voters were in the building getting a sneak peak at the future. Clark Francis (Hoopscoop) Van Coleman (Hoops 100), Vince Baldwin (Nike/Prep Spotlight), Don Showalter and B.J. Johnson (USA Basketball); all spoke at the camp. Other attendees were Ron Briscoe (Nike/Southeast Report), Alan Branch (Houston Boy's Basketball), Darnell Johnson (Hoopscouting/All Metro Hoops) Jimmy Hicks (RCS Sports) Ty Kish (City League Hoops/Slam Magazine), Sean Couch (Bounce Magazine), Joe Davis (Scouts Focus) and Peter Schwethelm (Academic Recruits) all in the house evaluating diligently as the players put their best on display. Games the first day were good but not great by Lucas' high standards as he got on some of the players breaking down what he saw the first day. Coach Lucas is trying to show these kids that they can make a life of basketball if they take it seriously, bring it 100% and play the right way. His ''Call Out'' drill is a trademark of his camps where he goes through the group, points them out and tells them what he has seen, liked and didn't like about a player's game, and what he'd like to see improved upon.
On Day 2 players were privileged to hearing former college head coach Perry Clark who spoke about the recruiting process and the importance of education and preparation for the next level. IHoops, the NBA/NCAA joint initiative, came in and broke down their programs as well as discussed the eligability process to qualify for an NCAA scholarship.
The games really picked up the intensity the second day. Parents were very engaged and really cheering their kids on like Game 7 of the NBA Finals. At the conclusion of camp Coach Lucas brought in some former college players and NBA Draft hopefuls Tristan Thompson (Texas), Cory Joseph (Texas), Jeremy Green (Stanford), Jai Lucas (Texas) to talk about the ''Real Deal'' when it comes to college, girls, recruiting, coaches and other things players have to manage in their careers. Coach Lucas concluded the camp by saying that pound for pound that talent and potential wise, this was the best group he has ever had in one gym for a weekend, and parents agreed.