Cook Underscores Importance of Teamwork During Camp Visit

Even the littlest of kids at this week’s Thunder Youth Basketball Camp, presented by Cox Communications, seemed to know what Daequan Cook is most known for on the court: shooting threes.

During Cook’s visit on Thursday, one of the campers stumped the Thunder guard when he asked how many three-pointers Cook had attempted during his time with the team.

“I have no idea,” Cook replied.

Makes sense – he just needs to shoot them, not count them.

Cook spent Thursday afternoon answering some questions and playing some hoops with kids ages 5-16 attending the Thunder’s second week-long camp of the summer.

When the camp coaches put him in charge of the kids, grouped by age, Cook took over and had some fun. The youngest campers all got high-fives. Older children dove – repeatedly – for the ball while running a defensive drill, with Cook grinning every time he made them fall forward (then making them do it again). The top age group swarmed around Cook as he attempted some threes, with the player calling a few out for fouling when he missed.

“I was just having a lot of fun with the kids,” he later said.

After every drill was run, every question answered and every shirt was signed, Cook decided he still wasn’t done. He jogged over to one court where the oldest kids were running a scrimmage. The coach threw him a reversible jersey; he picked a side and jumped right in. Cook only dunked for the kids once. Every other pass or rebound he caught down low was handed off to another player to shoot.

Perhaps it was his way of driving home the importance of teamwork.

“A lot of kids don’t get the opportunity to be around professional athletes,” he noted – much less have “the opportunity to interact with them … Being able to give back to the community, being able to be hands-on with these kids, it just makes it even more special.”

Special for him, and special for the kids – even when they were literally falling over themselves to follow his lead.

“A lot of young kids look up to us, and we get a lot of support from a lot of communities around here,” said Cook. “It’s important to always give back to the community.”

Thunder Youth Basketball Camps are presented by Cox Communications and run throughout the summer. CLICK HERE for more information on these week-long camps or to register.