The Reno Bighorns held a basketball camp for Susanville youth on Tuesday, Aug. 1 and Wednesday, Aug. 2 at the Lassen College gymnasium. The camp saw more than 40 children participate in total.
While the camp was mainly focused around teaching basketball fundamentals, the Big Horn coaches eagerly snuck in some life lessons for the children on the court.
Darrick Martin, current Bighorns head coach and former 13-year NBA player, explained that the camp also taught the attending children about fundamentals in life.
On Aug. 1, members of the Susanville Police Department spoke to campers about safety, especially as it relates to being an athlete.
Topics covered by the visiting policemen included staying away from stranger’s cars, how to be respectful to authority figures, the pain tasers can cause to victims and the importance of staying away from drugs and alcohol not only for general health, but also to keep up performance as an athlete.
On Aug. 2, Martin mentioned a representative from a local bank and a local school counselor visited the gymnasium, to teach the campers about preparing for the future.
The bank employee spoke with the campers about the importance of money management. Attending youth learned the importance of checking versus savings accounts in the hopes of establishing a solid financial foundation for the future.
As for the school counselor, the children learned what steps they should take to prepare for college. The counselor spent time with the campers to enable them to understand the importance of a degree that goes alongside athletic ambition.
Martin explained that the life lessons learned from camp shouldn’t necessarily revolve around basketball. While the sport is important, Martin expressed that he wanted each child to leave camp with a greater understanding of the world.
“The world is moving fast,” said Martin. “We need to provide the kids with as much information as we can so they can make good choices in life.”
According to Martin, introducing the life lessons while in the basketball camp setting was beneficial as the children are already engaged in something they love, and with that engagement present, they were able to learn more than just the sport.
Martin has been able to lead by example as he received his degree at UCLA, played in the NBA for more than 10 years and coached professional basketball teams for five years.
“Having your degree is very important to go into coaching,” said Martin.
Martin was on the court for the Vancouver Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves, Toronto Raptors, Sacramento Kings, Los Angeles Clippers and the Dallas Mavericks.
Martin coached for the Timerwolves for two years and then coached the St. John’s Red Storm team for three years in New York.
With his experience, Martin was more than happy to lead the camp along with camp coaches Kyle Nishimoto, Kyle Jones and Miren Zubillaga from the Bighorns executive team.
In addition, the camp had help from many members of the Lassen College women’s basketball team as well as one member of the men’s basketball team.
Martin stated, “We are enjoying camp in Susanville. The LCC basketball programs have been very accommodating, and we’d like to come back next year.”
Each child left camp with a special-edition Bighorns t-shirt and a ticket to one of the 2017-2018 Bighorns games.