On a lukewarm, wet, ugly day in Bowie, Maryland, 82 seniors students from various places across the DMV gathered together to showcase their talents against their peers.
At the DMVelite Senior Showcase extravaganza, unsigned seniors had a chance to showcase their talents against each other in front of a number of college coaches from various levels of competition. Some of the seniors there had offers from division 3 colleges, but there are no scholarships in that. They all came in hungry and looking for an opportunity to up their choices and add to their prospective school list.
The platform that DMVelite gave these kids was an outstanding one. There was organization everywhere from the head receptionist to the coaches to the media, everything was put together and formatted in a way that was easy to understand and work with. That made things easier on the participants so that they could just focus on one thing: Playing basketball.
The event started with a bit of strength and conditioning after a positive word to start things off. The players were directed to get into a line that stretched from the center circle to the end of the gym. They were given direction as to what stretches and walks to do and they did them all in unison. Players that were tight and nervous at the start of the event were loosened up by the end of their stretches. The ones that were already lose seemed like they had nothing to lose.
It was all smiles from the participants from then on. Many of them knew each other and gave each other personal handshakes and wishes of good luck before the event. Before the kids were paired up into teams, they all got to know each other with a bit of a pre-drill shootaround. There were baskets that were going to be used and the gym was split up into two. The players spread out among the four baskets and had a bit of fun.
They did everything from shooting the ball to having their own, personal dunk contests. By the time the teams were broken up, they’d certainly be ready to ball.
Finally, the first buzzer sounded. The kids were broken into groups of eight with a personal coach for each group. The eight coaches that were participating were Jamal James, Xavier Joyner, Brian Scott, Jamal Chivers, Walter Booth, Jeff Williams, Jamal Harris and Darryl Norris. Each coach got their own individual teams, but they paired up during the drills to get things done a bit faster.
The various drills were ran smoothly. There were four drills ran by two coaches per drill. There was a drill to work on dribbling skills; a drill to work on post play; a drill focusing on rip throughs and pull-up jump shots; and, finally, an offense/defense drill that focused on different defensive looks and ball movement.
Each drill was ran meticulously with the coaches trying to draw out as much effort from their guys as they could. There were players diving on the floor for balls during the offense/defense drill. Balls were being dunked instead of just casually being finger-rolled into the basket. Players’ movements were swift and showed purpose isntead of being lax. There was an all-around effort given by each and every individual competing and that’s what made the camp special.
Some of the players there looked like they had no business being there. Players like Jonathan Grimsley, from Capitol Christian, showed what he could do during the competitive part of the day. During the games, Grimsley showecased his ball handling ability in transition and got into the lane with very little effort. He showed his prowess as a passer and didn’t act as if he was out looking for his own offense. In a showcase where players are focused on getting their own star to shine, many will make an effort to put up as many shots as they can.
That wasn’t what Grimsley was there to do. He made the right play at the right times and the coaches noticed it. “Today, I think I played well. We did a lot of drills and strength and conditioning and I was happy with the camp,” Grimsley said of his experience at the DMVelite camp. “The coach was just helping me, telling me not to give up on any plays. To play hard.” Grimsely exuded that effort on both ends of the floor throughout the day.
Another player that stood out to me was Tommy Hargrove from Musselman in West Virginia. Hargrove came into the day doing everything he could do get his star to shine. He worked hard throughout each individual drill and gave his best effort during the games. “I think this is a good opportunity for seniors who have been under-recruited because of their high school area. I just think it’s a great opportunity,” Hargrove said. “I’ve learned that once you get an opportunity on the court, you’ve got to seize it. You can’t wait around; you got to go get it.”
Hargrove said it best–you can’t just wait around for an opportunity, you have to go get it. That seemed to be the attitude throughout the day for the participants at the DMVelite Senior Showcase. These players knew that their time had come; this was the moment for them to heighten their prospects on the next level.
They could learn college offense while competing against the guys that they’ll be seeing for the next few years. It doesn’t get any better than that for them. The opportunity that DMVelite afforded them was a golden one. They did a great job of grasping that and making it their moment. Now, they just have to let the chips fall where they may throughout the summer.