Atlanta Hawks star point guard Trae Young hosted a two-day summer basketball camp at Norcross High School 0n July 27 and 28. It was his third time teaching at a camp, but his first time doing so in Atlanta.
“It is still surreal to me [to walk] around and [see] all of these kids excited for me to be here,” Young said in a group interview.
Young, who coaches from ProCamps, a Cincinnati-based company that helps athletes nationwide operate similar programs, taught elementary, middle and high school students the fundamentals of basketball. Children participated in hands-on instruction, lectures, games and contests, and each received an autograph from Young, a group photograph and a Trae Young basketball ProCamps t-shirt.
“At this age, it is all about having fun,” Young said about his campers. “Obviously, you want to get better and learn, but it is all about having fun.”
Young, who is passionate about the community, cut costs so that underprivileged children could attend.
“Any time I have an opportunity to impact a little kid, I do so,” Young said when asked about helping disadvantaged children. “It’s a blessing to be [in Atlanta] and help them.”
In addition to Young’s community outreach, he is also training hard through the offseason to improve his game in anticipation of the upcoming season. He reportedly gained 12-16 pounds since the regular season ended and has plans to work with NBA legend Kobe Bryant during the month of August.
“I have been training basically like it is pre-draft,” Young said. “I have been training hard in the weight room. I am trying to get stronger, bigger and faster. I have been focusing a lot off the court as well as on the court. I am taking this summer very seriously.”
After the Hawks drafted top prospects De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish during this June’s draft and acquired veterans Jabari Parker and Evan Turner, Atlanta will fight for a playoff spot this season. Similar to the message he preaches to his campers, Young views the challenges of next season as a chance to have some fun.
“I don’t think there is pressure,” he said. “For us, we look at it as a fun opportunity to compete at a high level. We have a chance to surprise a lot of people. Our expectations and goals are higher than most.”
The Hawks’ first preseason game is against No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans at State Farm Arena on Oct. 7.