Saturday, August 10, 2019 12:37 AM | CBN
By: Liam Blutman
Much like King James, the Young3 took their talents and headed to South Beach for our much anticipated return to Miami, Florida. Last years camp was jam packed with over 200 kids in the building last summer. Today was a new and unique feeling as there were numerous aspects that differed from any Young3 camp we’ve ever done. First off, we were at the JW Marriott Marquis in the heart of Miami. Without a doubt the nicest facility we’ve worked with yet. Thanks so much to the BIG3 for making this happen, we appreciate it greatly. This exquisite hotel had a NBA-approved basketball court and is such a great facility that a multitude of NBA teams practice here whilst staying in Miami. There were about 100+ kids in attendance today, many of which were brought here by Robert Hite of Tri-State. Miami youth brought good energy from start to finish and I’m not afraid to add that Miami also brought the best all-around talent we have seen while traveling. Like... for real. Y’all don’t even know how hard it was to select JUST SIX kids for the Young3 All-Team. I swear we could’ve picked 15-20. Golly, the dribble moves that were on display today were so filthy, these kids were just phenomenal.
This weeks Young3 crew consisted of: Jerome Williams, Johnnie Williams, Charles “Choo” Smith, Eric “Broadway” Jones, Kevin Whitted, Erin Thorn, James “Hollywood” Robinson, Desmon Farmer, Bryan Burrell, Lamar Lundy, and myself, Liam Blutman. But how about the incredible BIG3 turnout we had today? Corsley Edwards of Tri-State, Mike Taylor the Ghost Baller, and Derrick Byars of Enemies all showed up early in the morning and helped coach the youth. That was pretty cool to see some BIG3 players actually help coach today and make that impact. We also had Robert Hite and Nate Robinson of Tri-State make appearances. The kids just loved the interaction with each coach and BIG3 player as it’s such a rare opportunity for them to see pro athletes show up to their city and give back as they pour their hearts out to some kids they’ve never met. Yet, they can relate to these kids due to maybe going through a similar situation as them when they were young and all they want to do now is make sure these kids make it out of whatever situation they find themselves in and have a successful life. Hearts working. I had the opportunity to speak with Corsley Edwards, Derrick Byars, Robert Hite, and Nate Robinson. I asked Nate, “As a professional basketball player how important is it for you to go back into the community and give back to the youth?” His answer was superb... “It’s big time, it’s the coolest thing you can do as a professional athlete. Just for us to show the kids we actually care, to always take pictures, give a high-five, sign autographs, that all goes a really long way. And they make us what we are, without their love, without them believing in us, it’s kind of like we fade away into the sunset. It’s all about the youth, they are the future and I think the future is in good hands!” Awesome Nate. My question for Corsley was about how important it is for the kids to see professional basketball players give back to the community, here’s his reply, “I think it’s very important because it’s an opportunity for them kids to have a goal or a dream to become a professional athlete!” Well put Corsley. I then asked Robert Hite about what he believes the biggest lesson the youth can takeaway from today is. Robert stated the following, “Hard work and dedication. Nothing will be given to you, enjoy it, have fun with it but you got to work!” My final question was for Derrick Byars and the question was also about the biggest lesson that the youth could learn from today. Byars proclaimed that, “Perseverance is the most important lesson the youth can learn today. And that’s a quality that you can learn in life and not just basketball, you’ve got to learn with others in life to be successful!” Thank you so much to Nate, Corsley, Robert, and Derrick for taking time out of their day to answer a few questions from me and enjoy the Young3 experience.
We saw Johnnie, Hollywood, and Robert speak to the youth today. Johnnie talked about connection puzzle pieces in life and making sure you complete the best puzzle possible when it’s all said and done. Bridging off that, Robert shared his biggest puzzle piece… That his family always being there for him. To end the puzzle piece lesson, Hollywood talked to the kids about his NBA Draft story, when multiple teams promised to pick him, passed up on him, and he finally got picked amidst tears that quickly turned to tears of joy. The youth seemed to enjoy these speeches as they responded well to each one. Johnnie also hosted the Life Skills segment of Young3 and his topic today was to sharpen your skills in life as that will lead to a successful life. It’s always cool to see Johnnie and Choo teach Life Skills as it’s not something you’d expect to see at a basketball camp!
I’d be remissed if I didn’t bring up DJ Genesis. This DJ was fantastic and literally had a sound effect for every single situation! Blocked shot? Dikembe Mutumbo shouts “Not in my house!” Nasty dribble moves en route to an easy layup? “Barbeque chicken alert!” He Even has the infamous, “Got heeeeem!” soundbyte that we use in our Young3 warmups when learning how to perfect the pump fake. A blaring tornado siren and explosions and just so much more, it was such a unqieue feature for our camp to have a DJ constanstly making people laugh with his sound effects. A big thank you from the Young3 team to DJ Genesis!
As I mentioned earlier... picking six young stars for the Young3 All-Team was REALLY tough this week. There were plenty of studs, but we narrowed it down to our six. Here is your Miami, Young3 All-Team...
Stevenson Joseph (@Clutch_Szn)
Julian Gardoza (@JulesBBallas)
Hailey Clemente (@Hailey_Baller_32)
Cayden Daughtry (@Cay_D_Baller)
Maynor Maldonado (@CK.Beast)
Follow these young elite basketball players on Instagram as they begin their journey to the pros!
It was super fun Miami, another phenomenal camp in this vibrant city and I’m sure we’ll be back soon! Jerome summed it up best... “Not only did Miami bring the sunshine, but they brought the fire to the court. This group of kids had to be some of the most talented we’ve seen all summer! I can’t wait to see what happens next with the Young3!”