Friday, June 3, 2011

Dirk Nowitzki Channels Larry Bird Against Heat

MIAMI-- It’s not wrong, cliche or lazy to compare Dirk Nowitzki to Larry Legend.

Sorry, it’s the only comparison that’s remotely accurate.

Thursday night inside American Airlines Arena, the Germanator impersonated The Hick from French Lick, stunning the Heat with a rope-a-dope-like finishing barrage.

Yes, Thursday night’s Game 2 of the NBA Finals calls for Larry Bird and Muhammad Ali-type hyperbole. The Mavericks’ rally and Nowitzki’s brilliance are worthy of references to a “Legend” and “The Greatest.”

Trailing by 15 points with a little more than six minutes to play, Dallas closed the game and evened this best-of-seven series with a breathtaking, where-did-that-come-from 22-5 run.

Dallas 95, Miami 93.  The stuff of legends from Nowitzki


--The Highest Percentage of Top-Ranked High School Players Ever Assembled at a Single Camp; 18 of the Nation’s Top 20 Ranked Players Confirmed To Attend, 48 of the Top 50-- 
New York, NY (June 2, 2011)—The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) announced today that the 18th Annual NBPA Top 100 High School Camp, which exists to prepare up-and-coming players for life on and off the basketball court, will take place at the University of Virginia’s John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville from Wednesday, June 15 through Saturday, June 18. Showcasing the country’s elite high school basketball talent, the roster – which includes an unprecedented 18 of the top 20 players – features the Class of 2012’s Andre Drummond, Shabazz Muhammad, Kaleb Tarczewski, Cameron Ridley, Ricardo Ledo and several others. The Class of 2013 standouts include Jabari Parker, Julius Randle and Nerlens Noel, to name a few.
The Camp offers a unique and valuable curriculum designed to prepare players for competition and life at the next level. The training includes a sophisticated Skills Development Program, highlighted by its Mentoring, Personal Development and Education component. In addition, every camper participates in a series of group discussions and classes on topics ranging from stress management to sex education, handling recruiting pressures, dressing for success, and other life-lesson subjects offered by expert trainers and counselors, as well as NBA players.     
On the court, players face off against each other daily in top-quality competition during practices and games. As part of the NBPA’s Coaching Development Program, current and retired NBA players work intensively with campers, coaching teams, teaching basketball fundamentals and leading skill development stations in one-on-one and group settings. The Coaching Development Program is an advanced opportunity for players who desire to explore the coaching profession as their next career to learn coaching skills such as studying game film, scouting players and creating a coaching game plan. Players scheduled to participate include Tony Allen, Raja Bell, Steve Blake, Caron Butler, Brian Cook, Keyon Dooling, Maurice Evans, Stephen Graham, Royal Ivey, Eduardo Najera, Gary Neal, Ime Udoka, Reggie Williams, Tim James, Awvee Storey, Chucky Atkins and Luke Walton.
The Camp, started in 1994, added the Parents Coaching Parents Program in 2003, a diverse educational program available to parents or guardians who attend the camp. This interactive program creates a “team approach” between parents and players, and informs parents about the recruiting process and beyond. This rapidly growing program has dramatically increased in parent attendance in each of its seven years. 
Billy Hunter, NBPA Executive Director says, “The NBPA Top 100 Camp offers a personalized game plan for every camper that attends. Our comprehensive curriculum is designed to proactively educate these talented student-athletes about the keys to success in all walks of life, from the basketball court to the classroom and beyond.”
“As the Top 100 Camp continues to grow, so does our talent pool. This year, the competition on the court will be more competitive than ever as we work with the country’s greatest high school athletes. In addition to the tremendous group of basketball stars, our expert educators, coaches and mentors will certainly enhance the learning experience for the young men, says Tim McCormick, Camp Director. “Campers will learn from the pros and compete against the best, while receiving invaluable guidance about developing into successful players and people.”