Alone at the free-throw line, Michael, one of the camp's best shooters, eyes the rim. | Brad Crawford, The Robesonian
Adam Norman, 11, was the only camper to make a shot while being guarded by UNCP head coach Ben Miller on Wednesday. He did so with a step-back 3. | Brad Crawford, The Robesonian
UNCP assistant coach Ben Thompson talks to campers before individual shooting workouts begin Wednesday at UNCP's basketball camp. | Brad Crawford, The Robesonian
PEMBROKE —Ben Miller referred to Adam Norman's step-back jumper as "Tony Parker-esque" during The University of North Carolina at Pembroke's kids basketball camp Wednesday morning.
The 11-year-old son of UNCP biology professor Brandi Norman was the only player out of a crowd of 25 to beat the Braves men's coach 1-on-1 without turning it over or missing a shot, doing so with a patented move he may have learned on campus earlier in the week.
Decked out in a Kevin Durant jersey, Norman certainly looked the part.
"He had me off balance with his dribble and everything," Miller said. "He made a heck of a shot."
Norman was one of more than 75 campers to finish Day 3 inside the English E. Jones Center this week, an event culminating with a dunk contest and light-hearted 20-minute scrimmage involving both current and former UNCP players.
Rising junior Reggie Cobia, Norman's favorite player, rattled the rim with a reverse and windmill as the first dunker to energize the gathering of children seated courtside still winded after three hours of free-throw shooting and fundamental workouts.
Even when his dunks didn't fall the second time around, campers screamed for last season's sixth man especially when he paused to smile at midcourt during his routine.
Seated courtside, the children seemed to enjoy the high-flying theatrics.
"Reggie's the bomb," said a blond-haired shooter, one of the week's shortest campers. "I love him."
UNCP's George Blakeney, an All-Southeast region performer who recently graduated after his best season as a Brave, was one of six players in charge of stations during Wednesday's drills. Most campers only came to his knee, but looked like they were playing above the rim with a little boost from the 6-foot-9 center.
In the scrimmage session, Team Black beat Team White by a single point after Alex Bradley's last-second 3-pointer glanced off the iron as time expired. The baseline-to-baseline fan fest included a couple of dunks from Quamain Rose, multiple long-distance jumpers from Tyler Thayer and Nate Priest along with a few nifty shots down low courtesy of Ben Jacobs and Jihad Wright.
After the horn, players stayed back to sign autographs and take photos with campers.
"It's been a great week for the kids, our staff and our players," Miller said. "It's fulfilling for our guys to interact with kids in our community. We've been able to notice a lot of the kids pick up on a few things and develop a more firm grasp of the game.
"The most important thing is that everyone had fun."