The James Harden Unplug and Play Camp: A Young Player’s Dream


Houston Rockets All-Star James Harden gave back to the city he plays for this weekend as he hosted his third annual youth basketball camp. Pro Camps ran the event, it lasted two days and was held in North Houston at The Woodland’s Legends Sports Complex.

I attended basketball camps all over as a kid and met some really important people who have left a lasting impact on me, that is what this camp will do for every young kid. Having a player of James’ caliber standing right in front of you and helping you get better will stay with those boys and girls for the rest of their basketball careers.

James Harden speaks to the kids at his basketball camp at Legends Sports Complex n Woodlands. said its about the kids

— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) August 15, 2015

Prior To CampHarden had a busy week heading up to his weekend camp as he and teammate Dwight Howard were in Las Vegas for the two-day USA mini-camp.

Everything you need to know for USA Basketball's Las Vegas minicamp (by @BenGolliver):

— SI NBA (@si_nba) August 10, 2015

Both players were invited and made the 34-man roster, unfortunately neither played in the exhibitions. No, we didn’t get to see Superman or The Beard throwing it down in the red, white and blue, but here was the highlight of the match-ups which finished with the Houston Rockets power forward Terrence Jones

WATCH: Klay Thompson nutmegs DeMar DeRozan at Team USA scrimmage, via @SBNationNBA

— CBS Sports NBA (@CBSSportsNBA) August 14, 2015

The SceneThe complex was extremely well-kept with areas for baseball, soccer, any type of training and of course, basketball. The four courts were enough room to spread out the campers and allow all of the coaches to teach each child.

There were bleachers and chairs for parents, a full concession stand and plenty of Body Armor. The “Super Drink” was on full display at the camp and was even in the water coolers for campers. After a few hours of taking pictures and helping kids off the ground, I grabbed a Strawberry-Banana Body Armor and I must say that I was impressed.

Day 2 of @JHarden13's Basketball Camp = Officially #UPGRADED. #UpgradeYourSportsDrink #UpgradeYourGame

— BODYARMOR SuperDrink (@DrinkBODYARMOR) August 16, 2015

Two sessions were held with the younger campers assigned to the morning while the older group began their session after lunch. Coaches were on hand to help and were all extremely friendly to parents and campers, even when some campers got a little upset after a few foul calls.

All smiles at camp Harden.

— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) August 15, 2015

Harden was not only present he was extremely hands on as I spotted him walking around and speaking with coaches about the drills, high-fiving campers all over and even jumping into games when teams were uneven. Overall Harden couldn’t have been a better host, the kids love talking to him and he made sure nobody remained shy for too long.

The pull up #jumper! #jamesharden #houstonrockets #procamp #legendssportscomplex #thewoodlands #houston #basketballcamp @jharden13

A video posted by Legends Sports Complex (@legendssportscomplex) on

The Games and AwardsIn addition to the awesome “James Harden – Basketball Never Stops” tee shirts and autographed picture that all of the campers received, there were all kinds of games for campers to win other prizes. I searched the entire section of James Harden shirts myself, there had to be at least 15 to choose from.

(SCS – Trey Oursler)

Harden participated in numerous activities including free throw competitions, three-point contests and everything in between to keep the prizes flowing, but it was the knockout game during the kids session that got everybody talking. With only two campers and James left in the game, Harden missed off the right side of the rim and well, just watch what happens next…

When the young boy was asked what he wanted for beating Harden in the free throw contest, he said he wanted a signed pair of shoes…so what did Harden do? Took off his shoes right there on the spot, signed them and handed them to the young kid, he’s a man of the people. (For the record, Harden was still rocking Nike’s, he still has a month or so before his Adidas contract kicks in.)

(SCS – Trey Oursler)

Certificates and awards were handed out towards the end of the second day of camp along with signed bobble-heads, posters and much more. MVP, Most Improved and Good Sportsmanship awards were given out, but also some camp favorites like Furthest Traveled to Camp and Consecutive Camps Attended.

@jharden13 was amazing with the kids on day 1. Can't wait for day 2 to get started! James Harden Pro Camp 2015 #jamesharden #procamp #basketballcamp #legendssportscomplex #thewoodlands #houston #conroe #springtx #belegendary

A photo posted by Legends Sports Complex (@legendssportscomplex) on

The CompanyHarden wasn’t alone this weekend at his camp, along with the 20 or so coaches (friends and local youth coaches) that were in attendance, he also had some bigger names show up. After being spotted at everyone’s favorite burrito spot, Chipotle, earlier this week with Harden, Khloe Kardashian was spotted at the Legends Complex on Saturday.

Guess who was at James Harden's Pro Camp yesterday at @legendssportscomplex? @khloekardashian #khloekardashian #jamesharden #procamp #legendssportscomplex #thewoodlands #basketballcamp

A photo posted by Legends Sports Complex (@legendssportscomplex) on

Rockets point guard Patrick Beverley was in the building and was challenged by Harden in a few games, where both ended up doing drills because their teams lost. Beverley brought a lot of energy to all of the drills he was working with. He was even kind enough to come over and shake my hand prior to getting into lay-up lines, we exchanged greetings and he continued making people’s day.

Former Kansas Jayhawk Keith Langford, a Texas native, was there and helped with drills also.

The camp also acknowledged parents of campers that have served in the Army. Two families were welcomed out to the front of the court as well as an ovation for anyone with family members on-duty.

The CampHarden put his own personal touch on the camp by naming each division a different part of his basketball journey, the youngest being the Pioneers (youth team), the Sun Devils next and the Rockets for the oldest of the age groups. It was all very personal, nobody seemed afraid to talk to James and he wasn’t afraid to speak with anyone either.

He wanted the best for all of his campers and didn’t want to hear excuses. In his speech at the end of day two, Harden said, “The support I have, especially in Houston, is an honor.” He seemed very genuine and went on to say he hoped everyone learned something and wants to come back next summer.

Had a blast at my @procamps today in #Houston. Thank you @kroger & @tide for helping us #UnplugAndPlay this weekend!

— James Harden (@JHarden13) August 15, 2015

Harden is hosting another camp this weekend in Phoenix, Arizona, another city that embraced his talents on his way to the NBA. The camp will be hosted by Pro Camps again, it will also last two days and will be just as fun and informative and the camp in The Woodlands this past weekend.

Stick with @SpaceCity_Scoop for all updates and info on James Harden and the rest of the Houston Rockets!

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