It's the most wonderful time of the year! Nothing is better than the July Live Period!
Scouts, fans and college coaches pack gyms to catch the next great star. As media and fans we have our viewpoint on the event, but nothing is more authentic and pure than the view of the athlete. It's only right that we hear things from the players themselves and view things through their eyes. Below is the diary entry by Kateri Poole at the Bluestar Elite 30 in Las Vegas, Nevada. In the diary, Poole discusses her journey at the camp. -as told to Christian Mordi @thedribbledrop on Instagram and Twitter
Hey my name is Kateri Poole and I’m from the Bronx in NYC. I go to Monsignor Scanlan High School in New York. I’m a member of the 2020 class. I play AAU basketball for New Heights. Being apart of New Heights is bigger than basketball. We are a family, a true sisterhood.
This weekend I played in the Bluestar Elite 30 event in Las Vegas, Nevada. They invite the top high school basketball players in America. Going to the right camps and getting to play in front of the right people is key your exposure and success. Bluestar 30 is one of those events that you must go to.
I like the fact that the event was in Las Vegas this year. Mike Flynn makes sure we always have fun at the event. We stayed at a hotel called Circus Circus, which looked exactly like a circus. It had an indoor amusement park as well. The atmosphere was awesome. The gym was on the strip and we had shuttles come and grab us at certain times to make sure everything went smoothly.
My mindset coming into this summer and with these camps is to perform at a high level and get better. I wasn’t focused on rankings. I knew I could compete with these girls, so I was just focused on performing well everyday and trusting the rest of the stuff would take care of itself.
Mike Flynn ran the camp. The coaches there were cool. We had coach Klinger from Rutgers Prep. Coach Morrison also was there. She’s retired now, but has a ton of insight on the game.
Everyday of the camp was something new. The first day is an introduction to Bluestar. During the camp we have 3 on 3 teams and scrimmage within those groups. One cool thing about that is the instructors let you pick your teams rather than assign people. Four players to each team. I had K.K. Bransford from Cincinnati, Ohio, Laila Phelia from Ohio, Amari Deberry from the Philadelphia Belles and myself.
After lunch you break off into your teams and compete in your first set of games. The setup of the games in interesting. Layups are worth three points. If you miss a layup, you lose a point. If you miss a three, its minus two points. Making a three is worth four points. The games really force you to focus on decision making and finishing. You also only have 12 seconds to score which makes the games very intense. One of my favorite matchups the first day was against Angel Reese from Baltimore, Maryland.
In the morning of Day two we focused the first couple of hours on skills and drills. Enhancing your footwork and ball handling skills. We worked on being able to attack off each pivot and getting to the rim off one bounce. After that we did a couple more games. My 3 on 3 team made it to the championship. We played against Treasure Hunt, Madison Hayes and Raven Johnson.
Day three was more skill development. Coach Klinger did a lot of dribbling drills with two balls. Coach did a great job of exposing us to new drills that forced us out of our comfort zone to get better. For the second half of the day we all got together and caught the Las Vegas Aces game against the Los Angeles Sparks.
Overall the camp was great experience. I took away all the information they gave me. They gave me a lot of feedback which I appreciated a lot. I came there looking to get better and I felt like I got better in the camp.
Next up for me is tournaments in the next two weeks. I go to Indianapolis this week and then Louisville after. It’s live period!!
Til' next time,