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Ben Ball Roundup & Notes

Some bits and pieces of Ben Ball related news and notes on NBA draft day. We will still start with Coach Howland who is running his annual summer camp this week out at the Palisades:

One peek through the doors of the Palisades High gymnasium this week is all it takes to know that UCLA men's basketball coach Ben Howland is back for his summer youth camp. The indoor and outdoor courts are a bustle of activity as Howland and his staff teach aspiring young players the ins and outs of the sport with a variety of drills, scrimmages and activities.

"The most important thing is that we want you to have fun," Howland told his attentive audience at the opening of camp Monday morning. "Almost as important, however, is that we want you to learn."

Howland stressed the importance of "not giving up," citing the Bruins' 17-point comeback against Gonzaga in the NCAA tournament two years ago as an example of why players should try their hardest until the end. Showing the same enthusiasm he displayed on the court during "March Madness" several months ago, Howland clapped whenever his campers made a basket or showed proper dribbling technique.

"It's a lot of fun to be here and we've had a great turnout," Howland said. "It's also nice having access to the small gym."

Open to boys and girls ages 6-14, Howland's camp offers specialized instruction with an emphasis on the fundamentals essential to developing a player's skills in areas like rebounding, ball-handling, passing, defense, free throw shooting and jump shooting.

After working on specific drills in the morning, campers apply what they learned in scrimmage games in the afternoon, broken down by age. Howland's camp ends Friday.
Lucky kids. They get to hoop it up at some small gym near the ocean and get to be coached by the best in the game. Sounds like the good life.

Coach Howland's former star pupil - AA - will be glued infront of the TV in NYC tonight waiting to find out his next (lucky) team. Dohn has a post up with links to several projections which now show him getting drafted in the first round. We will keep our fingers crossed. I don't really care much about the NBA draft. However, if you all are interested at all, I'd be happy to put up a special NBA draft open thread in honor of AA tonight. Just let me know in the comment thread.

Speaking of the NBA draft some of your noted this amusing article from the Trojan Times about how AA and Pruitt share the same agent. Here is the money quote from that article on Pruitt's reason for hiring AA's agent:
"Arron is known for hanging around only good people. So I figured I couldn't make a mistake if I chose the same agent."
I wonder Pruitt would say the same thing about Juice Deuce.

Lastly, here is something hilarious from the Draft Express: an interview with Rico Hines. You all remember Rico? Former pet of Steve Lavin, a marginal basketball player, who Lavin used to start over talents like Matt Barnes and who became more well known for throwing stool at his team-mates than his showing his below average skills in Lavin's dysfunctional team. Well these days Rico is making a living as a basketball trainer in the NBA and here is what the Stool Thrower had to say about his former coach:
Matthew Modderno: You played under Steve Lavin at UCLA, were there any things you picked up from him that help you now?

Rico Hines: Coach Lavin was great communicator. I’m a big believer in communication, especially in basketball. Communication is the key on and off the court. I learn how to work with the big players, the smaller players, just how to go back and forth and you have to communicate. So that was really the main thing I learned from him.
I don't think I need to add any reaction to that. I will leave that up to you since its like shooting fish in a barrel.

Again let me know if you guys want an open thread for the draft night. If so will get something up for all of you to hang out at and root for AA.