More than 150 young basketball players were on hand for the Luka Garza Academy stop in the Quad Cities.
It was a great time to learn for the young basketball players as Luka Garza and his dad, Frank, along with Conor and Patrick McCaffery and Austin Ash were all on hand to provide instruction and encouragement at Beyond the Baseline in Davenport.
“I’m having so much fun,” Garza said. “It’s really exciting to be back working with the kids, working with high schoolers, kind of teaching them some of the stuff I’ve learned growing up and getting better at basketball. So it’s important stuff, but it’s a lot of fun and it’s really rewarding.”
And with that many kids, could they team up to hold their own against the all-time leading scorer for the Iowa Hawkeyes?
“They wore me out a little bit,” Garza joked. “We’re playing a little one-on-one having them guard me a little bit – it was super fun.”
For Garza’s dad, camp was a familiar setting.
“It certainly is. It’s like a full circle,” Frank Garza said. “i was a parent taking my kid to a camp, then he developed as a player, learned a whole bunch from a whole bunch of coaches — including me — and now he’s here to give it back to the state that he loves so much and was so great for us. It’s fun to see the smile on every kid’s face getting to hang out with Luka, Connor, Patrick, Austin – so it’s really been fun. I feel younger just running around hanging out with them.”
One of the campers came in from Wheaton, Illinois for the opportunity to learn from an NBA player.
“My grandpa lives in Davenport and I thought camp would be such a fun thing to do, so I decided to have a visit and come here as well,” Kate Feeney said. “I was just doing post work and he was giving a lot of great information, as well as his dad. Very useful and good stuff to learn.”
Garza played with the Detroit Pistons last season and the Portland Trail Blazers during NBA Summer League. One camper thinks that elevated the level of instruction he received.
“It’s a great camp,” Jack Drew of Burlington said. “We’re going through lots of drills – high-intensity. It’s fun. It’s not weak stuff that we’ve all done before. We’re going through new things.”
After the camp, the Garzas held an event where the focus was on parents and boundaries with regards to their child’s athletic career.
“The relationship between you and your parents is one of those important things in life,” Luka Garza said. “You’ve gotta be a good son and daughter as much as they have to be a good father and mother – it is a two-way street. People have always asked me and my dad about our relationship and the dynamics, so this just provides a platform to speak on that – if anybody’s willing to listen.”