Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local Sports

June 12, 2014

Coles wraps up week-long youth hoops camp at Graham

BLUEFIELD, Va. — A group of young basketball players got to learn from a former NBA player and Olympic medalist this week at a camp at Graham High School.

Bimbo Coles, a native of Lewisburg who starred at Virginia Tech, was a member of the 1988 U.S. Olympic basketball team and a 14-year NBA player, shared his knowledge with around 30 players from the third through ninth grades.

“It was an amazing week. The kids were terrific. They made it a lot of fun. They made it easy for me,” Coles said. “I think the people who are working with the kids around here are doing a terrific job. Their fundamentals were already pretty good and we just kind of kept ging with fundamentals.

“It’s been an amazing week. I’ve had a blast. I brought my little boy here and my brother and my daughter came with me today (Thursday), so we’ve had a real good time this week.”

Campers went through drills throughout the week and the camp culminated with live-action games during which the participants put what they have learned to action on the hardwood.

“We stressed fundamentals, fundamentals, fundamentals all week. Once you get the fundamentals down you can go out and play basketball and let your natural talent and natural abilities take over. That’s what we stressed,” Coles said. “You could see it sometimes when we were playing. On Thursday they were at the end of the week, so they were a little bit more tired, but the kids just get up and play and enjoy the game of basketball and not have to worry about dribbling left-handed or left-handed layups. Everything is a habit and everything comes natural after you get it down.”

Coles said he came to do the camp at Graham after working with a local player and a simple question by a parent.

“Brian Cooper had been bringing his son Chandler over to Lewisburg and I have been working him out and he asked me if I would be interested in coming to the area and doing a camp, working with more kids,” Coles said. “I said, ‘Yeah, I’d love to. That’s what I do, basketball and working with kids.’ So here I am. I had a blast, it was a good time.”

— Contact Bob Redd at bredd@bdtonline.com, Twitter @bdtredd

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