Pro basketball is not something I enjoy watching, even when the players are dressed out in Olympic uniforms. This year I’ll make an exception.
Less than a month ago, right in the middle of Camp Grandad, Grandson #3 had the opportunity to attend Coach K’s Basketball Camp at Duke University, arguably the finest such camp in the country. Grandson was excited; Dearly Beloved was ecstatic.
DB volunteered to take the camper to Durham, but our daughter wanted to see the place herself, being that her 11-year-old would be going off to college for five days. She came back bubbling with enthusiasm for the program.
The camp wasn’t just Coach Mike Krzyzewski’s camp; he was running it himself with his regular coaching staff, as well as some of his players. The boys stayed in college dorms, ate in the college cafeteria, played their games in the university’s Cameron Indoor Stadium for five days. All basketball, all day and into the night. Grandson loved it.
The pickiest of eaters, he even loved the food!
Dearly Beloved (who probably now considers Coach K a member of the Camp Grandad staff) volunteered (read “pleaded“) to pick up the camper at the end of the session. In fact, he and our nine-year-old grandson made the 2 1/2 hr. trip a day early since parents were allowed to watch the practices and games from the stands. DB had never been to a game at Duke before, so on his first visit there, he watched his 11-year-old grandson play several games.
Not only did the coach spend time with the campers, he was incredibly gracious to their families. He spent time talking individually to our nine-year-old grandson and the other kids who were there as visitors. Even more amazing, he spent time listening to them. Our 9-year-old grandson will cherish the photo of him standing with Coach K.
When you hear that the man is a life coach, believe it. Dearly Beloved was blown away by the Coach’s final talk to the campers. Coach told the boys that they were at the age ( Jr. High) that he was when his mother told him he needed to start thinking about who he was going to let on his bus. Not the school bus, as he thought initially, but the life bus. DB felt that talk alone was worth the whole camp experience. I
‘ll be watching the Olympic basketball games now to see, not so much how the USA team scores, but how they conduct themselves.
How did this camp experience come about?
A couple of months ago, I checked online to see what specials Harris-Teeter, my supermarket of choice, was featuring that week. A little box in the upper right corner of the website invited me to Win a Session at Coach K’s Basketball Camp. I wanted to make sure that it was proper for me to enter my grandsons, so I e-mailed the company and inquired. They responded right away, telling me it was fine, but I’d better hurry, since that was the final day for entering. I entered, then promptly forgot about it and headed for the beach. I never checked the messages on our answering machine. A couple of weeks later, I received an e-mail from a sports marketing company advising me that they had left several messages on our home phone telling me that Grandson 3 had won a session at Coach K’s basketball camp and that if I didn’t claim the prize within 48 hours, they would draw another name.
I was all over that e-mail immediately! I didn’t act that fast even when DB proposed! I called, e-mailed, and sent up smoke signals.
At the end of his talk to the campers, Coach K told them that when they returned home, to be sure and hug the person who was responsible for their being there.
I hope Grandson always remembers that experience.
I’ll remember that hug forever.