213: Basketball Camp

Zoran has spent the last few days at basketball camp at the college, which for Zoran is pretty much the best way ever to spend the last few days.

I went a few hours early to pick him up today because he was so excited about the whole thing he wanted me to see what they were doing. Because he plays so often, he does pretty well for someone his size. As I was waiting I had 3-4 different people comment on what a great player he was. The most interesting conversation was with one of the people helping run the camp. He told me how impressed he was with Zoran. Then asked if he played baseball, too, because he thought he’d be good at that as well. I said he just played a little bit, and that he liked most sports, so at this point he was still trying out a lot of things.  His reply was something about how it must be nice to have the money to do that. I realized Zoran's "trying out" a lot of sports was a lot different than the way some kids try things out. Zoran has done a few little local month long-$25 leagues over the past couple years: baseball and wrestling and soccer. He also was able to sneak into a couple of those local basketball camps too even though he wasn't old enough because the coaches were willing to let him play. But as far as summer camps and leagues and lessons and tournaments and even any games at all-- he hasn't done any of that. We didn't even have transportation or money for this camp but Zoran has a lot of people looking out for him and at the last minute we were able to make it work. Mostly for him "trying out" sports means that's what he's doing whenever he has free time: playing catch with his siblings in the yard, basketball on our uneven gravel driveway with his cousins, or the hours and hours he spends on his own dribbling around the house.

Hopefully we will able to do more of that organized end of basketball if he decides he wants to as he gets older. I'd love to be able to send him to good camps, get him to three on three tournaments throughout the summer, or let play with a team during the school year.

But for now, any success he has comes not so much from us sending him anywhere to learn more about the game, but his bizarrely strong drive to figure things out and the hours he spends practicing by himself.

After the camp got over for the day, the kids all left, and they shut out the lights, I was still there beside the court waiting for him to try "just one more thing."

I'm pretty sure he would have stayed there all night if they'd let him.


  1. He's lucky to be both gifted and nurtured.

  2. Whatever he decides, he will succeed, because I think that is one of the secrets of becoming really good at a sport. It isn't just the going to practice everyday, paying $$ for lessons. It is the drive inside the athlete. The hours on the court/field of your own accord. Whether it be working on stuff by yourself or making sure you are calling others to get out there with you. Not too many kids seem to have that "something extra" these days. They expect it to just happen or a coach to give them the secret. Sometimes the secret is just to "love it and work hard more than just in practice." Helps that you two are such loving and adaptable parent and let him make those choices.