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John Lucas hoops camp showcases future

11/27/2012, 4:15pm CST
By Clyde Travis

Some of the top middle school basketball players from around the country gathered at Attack Athletics over the weekend to better hone their skills for the next level.

Some of the top young basketball talent from across the country converged on Chicago to participate in the John Lucas Right Way Basketball Camp Saturday and Sunday at Attack Athletics.

The irony of the two day event is that many of the top Chicago-area kids missed out because of scheduling conflicts with their grammar school programs. But that did not dampen the spirits of the 80-plus kids in attendance.

Lucas said the conflict was unfortunate. "Most states don't have the middle school programs that Chicago has," Lucas said. 
Beasley coach Thomas Greene has produced some of the best talent in Chicago, including former Simeon great, Bulls guard Derrick Rose, and most recently, highly-regarded Simeon freshman Ben Coupet Jr.

Zach Norvell had his current top three players — Jay Flemming, Quan Dosunma and Michael Johnson — in attendance, despite playing in two tournaments that were run simultaneously.

"I thought it was something that would definitely benefit the kids in the long run," Greene said. "Our kids got to compare their talents with other kids from across the country in their age group, got some excellent coaching tips, drills and received national exposure."
After watching Connor McCaffery (son of Iowa coach Fran McCaffery), Antoine Davis (son of Texas Southern coach Mike Davis) and Terrell and Tai Strickland (sons of DePaul great Rod Strickland), Kinnard Williams, who brought his son Rashard in from from Detroit, summed up the camp best by saying, "If it's good enough for these kids, you know my son is in the right place."
Lucas said about 15 of the kids who participated in the camp will be invited to Houston for the International Middle School Combine.

"The top eighth graders and select seventh graders from around the world will be invited," Lucas said. "They will be evaluated by USA Basketball and numerous scouting services throughout the country."

Lucas also pointed out that Coupet made a name for himself last year. "He played so well he was invited back to tryout for the USA 16-and-under team. He has a very bright future."

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