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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The 5th All-Around Game Run n Gun Basketball Camp review

I had the pleasure of attending the 5th Annual All-Around Run n Gun Basketball Camp and covering it was a blast. I met with several of the camp leaders and got their various opinions on how camp was going and some other issues about the state of basketball in middle Tennessee. I was impressed the most about the method of teaching that the camp directors used as they were very hand on and spoke directly to the camp attendees.




I didn’t know that All-Around Game was an organization and was surprised to see how well run the camp was. This year was special as Brian “Penny” Collins Run N Gun camp combined forces with The All-Around Game founder Spencer Richardson to make this the premier basketball camp in all of middle Tennessee. The camp attendants were overjoyed with the presence of such notable former local stars including former Brentwood Academy standout Brandon Wright, former Antioch High School and Vanderbilt star Mario Moore, former Whites Creek High School and Vanderbilt player Jamie Graham and Jamal Richardson former Maplewood standout and Auburn University player.



It was refreshing to see how the kids responded to the life lessons that they were learning. Although the camp leaders were very straightforward in speaking them, most of the young men seemed to enjoy their realistic approach. To get a better understanding of the camp leaders I sat down with each one individually.



The Sportaholic crew was also able to take photos of the various highlights of camp and have videos coming soon. This was a grand occasion and something that every up and coming basketball player in the mid state should take notice of. Special thanks to David Farrell for his photography and Ashley Danielle, who interviewed a few players as well.



I asked each member a few quick questions and here are the highlights of those interviews:



Spencer Richardson of Nashville, TN Founder of All-Around Game Organization and former star shooting guard of Maplewood Panthers.



Sportaholic: What is your best quality that you feel you can teach the kids?



Richardson: Teaching kids to be confident. I like keeping it simple and just let them know that you get out it what you put into it.



Sportaholic: From the inner circles outside the state of Tennessee, I hear a lot about how middle Tennessee basketball is not that good. What do you think can be done to increase our talent pool in the area and sustain it?



Richardson: Yeah I definitely think Mid-TN basketball is down. We are not producing enough athletes. I think one of the problems is that kids around our community are playing four different sports at once and not focusing on one.



Sportaholic: What do you feel was your best moment as an athlete?



Richardson: I remember the year we played Jamont Gordon and the Glencliff Colts. There was a lot of hype surrounding Jamont who was one of the top players in city as a freshman. I dropped 38 points on them, not just Jamont because he wasn’t guarding me, but it felt great to have a highly anticipated game to be able to perform to the best of my abilities.



Jamie Graham Nashville, TN native former Whites Creek Cobras and Vanderbilt Commodores star



Sportaholic: What do you feel is your best quality that you can teach the kids?



Graham: Just the experience that I have. I have played a lot of basketball including going to the state finals 05-07 with Whites Creek. I also played at Vandy for a short time so I think my experience goes a long way.



Sportaholic: On that note what do you feel is the best you can give them going forward with their basketball aspirations?



Graham: Just to work hard everyday and improve your craft. Never take time off because while taking time the others players are getting better.



Sportaholic: What do you think we can do to improve the talent pool here in middle Tennessee?



Graham: I think we have to put more time and effort into our youth. This is the reason I respect Penny (Brian Collins) so much because he puts so much time and effort back into the community.



Sportaholic: What is the best athletic achievement you ever had?



Graham: Playing at Vanderbilt and being key member of the team that won the Music City bowl, ending a 53-year drought for my school. I have done a lot of things in sports but this I believe is my crowing achievement.



Mario Moore Nashville, TN native former Antioch Bears and Vanderbilt Commodores star point guard.



Sportaholic: What do you feel is your best quality that you can teach the kids?



Moore: My experience of playing and being able to give them what I went through playing in the NCAA. I also think my passion is what I give to the players.



Sportaholic: On that note what do you feel is the best you can give them going forward with their basketball aspirations?



Moore: I always tell the kids to work on their fundamentals and footwork. Those are two things that can take you a long way. I also tell them to make sure that they respect the game. Be willing to work hard and take progressive steps to become better.



Sportaholic: What do you think we can do to improve the talent pool here in middle Tennessee?



Moore: Us as coaches and former players need to reach out to the neighborhoods and communities and get these players involved. Kids should know the fundamentals, the entire community has to become involved because all about the kids. The All-Around Game and Run N Gun foundation will go anywhere and we can make this a movement. We are all educated young men with the experience of playing big time basketball so I believe we can change the perception of middle Tennessee basketball.



Sportaholic: What is the best athletic achievement you ever had?



Moore: I would have to say obtaining a scholarship to play at Vanderbilt. My mother didn’t have the necessary means to send me to college so that was a blessing in itself. If I had to think of a single athletic accomplishment, I would say making six 3-pointers and scoring 26 points against Western Michigan in the NCAA tournament. That may have been my best game as a Commodore.



Brandon Lockridge Nashville, TN native former MLK and Tennessee State University star Assistant coach of MLK.



Sportaholic: What do you feel is your best quality that you can teach the kids?



Lockridge: Having experience and being so close in age to the camp’s participants. Kids in this generation have to see you perform before they believe in you and the good thing about this camp is that most of us have played in Nashville not too long ago.



Sportaholic: What do you think we can do to improve the talent pool here in middle Tennessee?



Lockridge: Just continue to have different camps and teaching the fundamentals. Players are seeing too many things on T.V. and have got away from the basics here in Nashville. I think the city needs to have more accessible gyms. You go to other cities and they have 24 hour gyms that players can go to and we just don’t have that here.



Sportaholic: On that note what do you feel is the best you can give them going forward with their basketball aspirations?



Lockridge: To just never stop working. You are either getting better or getting worse. Everybody is good in college, so you have to put in hard work and use proper time management. You’re an athlete and you have to be dedicated to your craft. Watch the situations you put yourself in because as an athlete you are also a target.



Sportaholic: What is the best athletic achievement you ever had?



Lockridge: (Laughs) if I had to pick one I would say it was the time I made six 3-pointers in the second half against the Ohio State Buckeyes. I didn’t get the start that game but I came in and performed when asked of me in the second half. It was a lot of politics after coach Nolan Richardson III left the TSU program and I didn’t get the same opportunities I received our new coach. But I think I made the best out of a bad situation.



Jasmine Ellis Memphis, TN native former Christian Brothers High School star



Sportaholic: What do you feel is your best quality that you can teach the kids?



Ellis: I think I bring a voice of diversity for the players. I have been the star, the role player and came off the bench at various points in my career. Everybody has a different role that they have to play to make a team good. I also emphasize defense so I think the players respond to me in that regard.




Sportaholic: What do you think we can do to improve the talent pool here in middle Tennessee?



Ellis: I think we have the athletes but we don’t have the resources. I think we should have these types of camps and programs all year round. You see players that are stars in high school here in Tennessee but they don’t seem to pan out.



Sportaholic: On that note what do you feel is the best you can give them going forward with their basketball aspirations?



Ellis: To always remember why coaches recruited you in the first place. Don’t get away from makes you successful in the first place. Make sure your foundation and fundamentals are strong and have a strong mind.



Sportaholic: What is the best athletic achievement you ever had?



Ellis: I can remember a particular game where I wasn’t playing my best. I think I had 5 or 6 points and had missed so many shots it wasn’t even funny. The game was in the balance in the final seconds and I had the ball. I missed a lay-up that would have put us up by three and maybe sealed the game. The other team’s star player came down the court and tried to put a lay-up of her own, but I was able to get my hand in the air and block the shot. It was just so great to have a bad game but to be able to still help my team get the victory even if it wasn’t by my scoring.


Standout player of camp:


Darius Thompson age 16 Blackman High School Point Guard



Sportaholic: What do you like best about the camp?



Thompson: Getting training from so great players in our community and getting to play with my friends.



Sportaholic: What have you learned the most since the beginning of camp?



Thompson: The camp leaders are always telling us to play hard everyday and to take no breaks. I think I have taken that to heart. The camp shows you life values and how basketball can set you up in many different ways in life.



Sportaholic: What one of the area of improvement you think you need in you game:



Thompson: I want to improve my ball-handling and shooting.



Sportaholic: Who is the player you think you most want to patent your game from?



Thompson: Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors is the players I most patent my game from. I try to look a lot of different players as well and take something from what they do.



Sportaholic: What has been your best athletic achievement so far in your life?



Thompson: I have a tie. I remember making six 3-pointers against Riverdale my sophomore year and also my first dunk on someone when I played against Lavergne.

That wraps it up for the Sportaholic's team coverage of the 5th All-Around Run N Gun Basketball Camp. Special thanks to Brian "Penny" Collins and Spencer Richardson for allowing us to cover this event and hopefully we will return next year.

Camp Photos (By David Farrell):








































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