Hoops camp gives taste of the elite

Published 1:47 pm Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Former Randolph-Henry High School and University of Virginia basketball player Thomas Rogers had a difficult transition on the hardwood from high school to prep school.

He wants to make things easier on young players in the area who aim to play at the next level by involving them in The Thomas Rogers Basketball Camp.

“The premise of the camp is just to give the kids at Randolph-Henry an idea of what it’s like to be like that elite-level athlete and to play against those elite-level athletes and to train like an elite-level athlete,” Roger said.

The event is scheduled for June 4-5 at Central Middle School, and it will feature players with professional basketball experience.

“I’ve got several of my former teammates coming with me to work the camp, which is who I mean by the elite-level athletes, not me,” Roger said with a chuckle.

Akil Mitchell is expected to be on hand on June 4 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. He played in the NBA for the Houston Rockets and the Brooklyn Nets, and he currently plays professionally in France.

During his four-year career at U.Va. from 2010-2014, Mitchell ranked third all-time in games played (133), seventh in rebounds (798) and he tied for 14th in double-doubles (15).

Jontel Evans, who will be working the entire camp, was a starting point guard at U.Va. and he led the team in assists in each of his last three seasons, from 2010-2013. He was selected to the 2013 All-ACC Defensive Team, and he played professionally last year in Slovakia.

The camp will be open young people ages 9-18.

“I wanted to make sure that we have the older elementary school, then middle school and then high school kids, and then it’s going to be girls and boys — so everyone,” Rogers said. “Pretty much, anyone that is old enough to play basketball, we want out there.”

The morning of Saturday, June 4, will include registration from 8-9 a.m.

The camp will run from 9 a.m – 4 p.m. that day, and lunch will be provided. On Sunday, the camp will resume from 1-6 p.m.

Rogers said that on June 4, he plans for the camp to feature different stations that focus on different skills, like shooting, posting up and ball handling. In the afternoon, the camp will shift to more competition and team-based activities. Sunday will be a blend of both.

The camp will also include some contests, games and prizes.

“We’re going to have some prizes in the form of signed stuff from guys that played at U.Va. that are in the NBA now and just some U.Va. basketball gear,” Rogers said.

The price to participate is $50 for both days and $30 for one day.

For more information about the camp, contact Thomas Rogers at (434) 547-0151 or ThomasRogersBasketballCamp@gmail.com.