2009 Phoenix Suns Basketball Overnight Camp
July is typically the hottest month in Phoenix – making it difficult for kids to enjoy any outdoor activities. However, Pine Summit Camp in Prescott, AZ is a perfect setting for kids ages 6-18 to enjoy basketball, ‘capture the flag’, and other team-building activities. The Phoenix Suns Overnight Basketball Camp opened on July 24th and ended on July 28th at Pine Summit.
The campers were welcomed at 4 p.m. on Friday by Suns forward Taylor Griffin and Suns Ring of Honor member, Alvan Adams. They had the chance to interact and ask questions of the two former University of Oklahoma stars and were then given a tour of the grounds and dormitories. Pine Summit is equipped with a ball field, gymnasium, recreational area, and outdoor courts for the kids.
After tours, the kids had dinner and lined up to get autographs from the stars of the day. Campers were then separated by age and split into teams. Throughout the camp, the kids received tutorials on basketball and leadership skills from counselors and Suns players.
On Saturday, the kids started the day by doing station work…and then teams got together to meet Suns alumni Mark West and had their team picture taken with him. Steady afternoon rain slowed the pace of the activities for the day, postponing activities on the outdoor ball field and courts. The gymnasium and recreational room (filled with ping-pong, billiards and foosball tables) provided shelter and allowed the kids to get some basketball games in for the day.
Basketball continued on Sunday with more station work and games. With 7 basketball courts at Pine Summit, it allowed half of the campers to be on the courts at any given time. When the kids weren’t playing basketball, counselors set up activities all around the camp, such as ‘capture the flag’, water balloon toss, scavenger hunt and an uncooked noodle tower-building competition. The Suns Gorilla also made the trip up to camp and signed autographs for the campers on Sunday after their games.
Monday marked the third day of basketball – when the campers had a chance to hang out with former Suns player & “game day emcee”, Cedric Ceballos. Cedric joined the kids for dinner & fun after the games, as well.
Tuesday was the final day of camp and the last of the basketball games. After the conclusion of all games, campers and parents headed to the gym for an awards ceremony. Phoenix Suns General Manager Steve Kerr and forward Lou Amundson made an appearance to speak to the kids and answer questions from the campers. When the ceremony was over, the kids were encouraged to socialize with Suns’ celebrities. The players signed autographs and took pictures as the campers loaded up to head home.
Overall, the Suns Basketball Overnight Camp was a fun-filled five days – giving kids the opportunity to meet Suns’ stars from the past and present. Kids learned plenty of basketball while making some new friends along the way. The campers left Pine Summit with autographs and awards, but more importantly, the memories of the fun summer!