Here is the fourth installment of De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) basketball coach Frank Allocco's experiences at the Nike High School Elite Camp in Shanghai, China. He was asked to lead the camp, along with Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.) coach Tim Kennedy and Harvey Kitani, of Fairfax (Los Angeles, Calif.).See Day 1, Day 2, Day 3By Frank AlloccoSHANGHAI —
The fourth day of my China basketball adventure continued with double-day practices in the morning and in the afternoon. Our morning workout saw a great deal of progress from our first practice, which seems like so long ago.
This morning we worked hard on shooting technique as I introduced the BLESH Shooting Technique which I teach at my Excel Camps.
We also taught transition drills and disadvantage drills which stress communication and concentration. Our campers are making small steps in the communication area and the eager participants are starting to compete, or at least becoming more aware when they are not.
Each day, after lunch, our campers participate in rigorous stretching, conditioning, and strength building exercises. In the evening, after practice, we conduct 10 minute game round-robin competition.
Amazingly enough, every game at the camp has been decided by three or less points. After falling behind last night, our "De La Salle" team rallied and made the plays down the stretch to be victorious. Overcoming adversity in a challenging environment was a significant improvement for our players!
After our first workout today, we conducted a slam-dunk competition. This was a spirited contest that saw every camper filming the contest on their mobile phones. Coach Kennedy, Coach Kitani and I were the judges and Coach Kitani earned the nickname "Coach Key ten ee" as he was extremely generous with his scores!
At lunchtime our entire staff began discussions for the selection of our All-Star Teams and for the travel team that will journey to Hawaii to compete in an international tournament. The selection of the 18-member All Star team was a difficult process with many deserving boys competing for these treasured spots. Narrowing those 18 down to the 12 members of the International Travel team was even more challenging.
These Chinese players are very big, athletic, and talented, but the dominant player has been Chen Huai-An, a heady point guard from Taiwan. The 6-foot-1 point guard is a very talented player who would be an All-Star on any high school team. Chen Huai-An plays with great energy, has a fine understanding of the game and is a superb floor general. The Taiwan teams are known throughout China for their great discipline, teamwork and desire to win.
Tonight we had dinner with the Chinese High School Coaches who are in attendance at the camp. The fellowship with these coaches was extremely important and pointed out to all of us how small the basketball world truly is. It was great for me, Coach Kennedy and coach Kitani to interact with these coaches on a personal level after working with them on a professional level all week.
In addition to hosting all of the young men at this extraordinary camp, Nike provided opportunities for several coaches throughout China to attend the camp by either observing or participating as an assistant coach.
Nike's commitment to the development of high school players and coaches throughout Asia is most impressive and is certainly making a difference in the improvement of play at all levels throughout China.
We have all been grateful to spend a small amount of time walking around Shanghai. This is a most impressive city; a blossoming financial center which is clean, safe and ever changing. The world's third tallest building looms above the most impressive, colorful skyline as it nears completion. The sights of Shanghai are beautiful, but the people of China are the true treasures: respectful, gracious and kind. It has been a great thrill to mingle with them and to serve the sons of China!
Tomorrow we conduct our All-Star game featuring the top 18 players in camp. It will be fun to see these young men compete in the Nike Headquarters facilities in Shanghai.