The Orlando Magic Basketball camp was, yet again, another huge success this summer. Coaches and players enjoyed every second at the camp, along with second year NBA player and forward for the Magic Justin Harper.
Ninety-five kids from ages 7-17 registered and competed in the camp. Kids were broken down into two age groups: 7-12, and 12-17. Over the course of the week – 1-5 August – there were two sessions each day, a morning and an afternoon for each age group.
The week went fantastically; every child who participated enjoyed themselves, improved their basketball ability and became better ambassadors of the game. The talented and very hard-working Orlando Magic coaching staff preached two things all week long: Have fun and get better at basketball. Having fun was their main goal, and they met that more than ever.
The presence of Justin Harper was obvious and affective. Whenever Harper joined a drill the kids would run that much faster and play that much harder. He brought the best out of the kids and the kids couldn’t get enough of it; they had gleaming smiles across their faces every time they spoke to him or asked him to sign something of theirs. Even down to some of the younger children signing Harpers shoe themselves, so that he would, “Remember [the kid] when you’re famous.”
Harper was the obvious highlight of the week, his first time in Cayman was one to remember.
“Man, I love this place,” said Harper. “I’ve been doing everything; fishing, Stingray City, Rum Point; Cayman is an amazing Island and I’m definitely going to come back.
“I loved being around the kids too. Being with them and teaching them, experiencing the culture down here, everything was great, I can’t say enough about the kids I met over the course of the week,” said Harper.
Whenever Justin was free, he’d jump at the opportunity of signing autographs, or talk and play around with the children. He represented the Orlando Magic well and showed that despite fame and fortune, you can still be a very good, down to Earth role model for a younger generation.
“Honestly? It’s all about the children. Some people would consider it work to come down here, but having seen the Island and having seen how much it means to the kids and how much impact we had, it was all worth it. Being able to put a smile on a hundred kids’ faces just cause I came down is something I’ll always remember,” he said, explaining the camp being just as affected by the kids as they were by him.
It was a successful week for the Orlando Magic and Camana Bay staff, as it usually is every summer. Everyone was energetic and enthusiastic, the coaches were as involved as ever with the kids: laughing, joking, coaching and explaining to each individual how to improve their game. Maybe it was the presence of cameras; maybe it was the presence of Justin Harper, either way the kids all looked over-joyed and grateful for the opportunity. For Jeff Wight, Justin Harper, Coach Victor ‘Voot’ O’Garro and the rest of the people involved in the camp, it was another priceless week of putting smiles on children’s faces while learning how to play the beautiful game of basketball.