August 14, 2012
By Lance Cpl. Derrick K. Irions, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. — Hoops from Home provided Camp Pendleton’s youth with a free basketball training camp at the Paige Fieldhouse gymnasium, Aug. 11.
Hoops from Home, a non-profit organization, held the camp to promote healthy, positive development of military children through basketball mentoring from professional and collegian players and coaches.
The event began with basketball players from the University of California San Diego, University of Southern California and the University of Southern California Los Angeles leading the youth, ages nine to 17, in warm-up drills similar to those performed during college basketball practices like the jump-stop drill, high-knees drill and sprint drills.
“We wanted to get the energy flowing, we wanted to get them running,” said Sean Farnham, the founder of Hoops from Home and a college basketball analyst for ESPN.
Providing the camp for the youth is a way to give back and honor America’s armed forces men and women, Farnham said.
Following the warm-ups, participants engaged in individual skill development stations designed to teach and enhance basketball fundamentals like shooting, rebounding, passing and dribbling.
Former NBA star Brent Barry and current NBA players Ryan Hollins, Orlando Johnson and John Jenkins were in attendance and showed their support by joining in on activities.
The playing field was leveled for Barry and Jenkins during a three-point shootout competition when they strapped into modified athletic wheelchairs and competed against wounded warriors, Lance Cpl. Carlos Garcia and Cpl. Josue Baron.
Fifteen-year-old Jasmine Glenn became Hoops from Home’s first “Knock-Out” tournament winner when she beat out Hollins, Johnson and the rest of the camp participants, Farnham said.
“I’ve been involved in a lot of charities throughout my NBA career but this has touched me more than any other,” said Mike Brown, head coach for the Los Angeles Lakers. “I feel like I’m a part of this community.”
Brown grew up in a military household and is familiar with the hardships that military families go through.
“This is a phenomenal program,” said Mike Brown. “I’m just thankful for having the chance to come out here. Hopefully I was able to reach out and inspire the kids.”
“This means so much to me,” said Farnham, with tears of accomplishment building in his eyes. “There are not many things that you can be proud of in life but this is one that I can be proud of. I just hope that the kids got as much out of it as I did.”