Vincent Edward Mendoza
PGU was in attendance at the Nike Basketball Academy that took place inside the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, CA where some of the top high school junior and senior-to-be players in the country were participating.
One of those players in attendance was 2017 Arizona target Ira Lee out of Chatsworth, CA. PGU caught up with Ira to discuss some of the things that stood out about the camp itself and some things that he picked throughout the weekend.
“I loved it. It was a great experience especially being able to go against pros,” he said.
When asked about what the event compared like to others that he has attended it was simple.
“I mean it gave us a true pro experience right from the start. From waking up early to being in the gym late. Plus the food and protein to make sure our bodies recovered properly,” he said.
That undoubtedly aided in the atmosphere the camp was trying to create. But even Lee will jokingly tell you he left room to enjoy him on the last day of camp, “it was great food, well except for the funnel cake on our last night.”
Players were coached hard and mistakes were corrected on the spot while tempo and energy was never lost. When asked about that Lee stated, “but that was our focus as a group to compete and that’s what we did.”
During the camp Ira wanted to make it a point to work on some aspects of his game and the camp drills allowed for those improvements.
“I wanted to work on changing speeds and how to come off and around picks,” he said.
Some of the professionals that Ira was able to learn from were Nike athletes such as LeBron James, Chris Paul, DeMarcus Cousins, Paul George, James Harden, Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant so the level of focus from the players was extremely high all weekend. And when given the chance to go up against one of the best players in the world Lee did not back down as he was matched up with LeBron James.
“It gave me a taste of what I could be guarding on a regular basis in a few years,” he said, “I’ll keep working and I’ll just stay in the gym.”
If Lee keeps trending on the path that he is on now his shot at the illustrious three letters could become a reality.