LISLE – For basketball players hoping to improve their skills over the summer, trips to far flung college campuses are the norm.
The Players Camp is flipping the script.
Players from the University of Illinois and the University of Wisconsin, including Lisle native and UW standout Frank Kaminsky, will bring the college talent to the kids at a pair of camps Saturday and Sunday at Walker Athletics in Lisle.
"I've always been around basketball and I attended a lot of camps as a kid," said Sean Harrington, the former Elgin High School and U of I standout who started The Players Camp. "Being from the suburbs, the schools were hours away and you'd have to pack for three or four days.
"I thought, how cool would it be if the kids in college would come to our area? How cool would it be to bring elite players to the suburbs and have kids go out and compete and learn from those guys?"
Kaminsky played high school ball at Benet Academy and had a standout 2013-14 season for Wisconsin as the Badgers made the Final Four in the NCAA tournament. Kaminsky set a Wisconsin single-game record with 43 points against North Dakota in November, led the Badgers by averaging 13.9 points and 6.3 rebounds per game, was twice named Big Ten Player of the Week, was Big Ten all-conference first team and was the Most Outstanding Player in the west region of the NCAA tournament.
Walker Athletics rents out courts for basketball, volleyball and badminton and also has indoor batting cages for baseball and softball.
"We're very excited about this," said Teresa Walker, secretary at Walker Sports. "Sean is very excited about it, and I think he picked the right place for it. I'd like to keep it an annual thing because I think it's a nice thing for the community."
Having players and teams of that pedigree is exactly what Harrington had in mind when he envisioned the camps.
"Guys are available only a few weekends of the summer, so it was really the only time to do it," Harrington said. "Wisconsin was interested in it, so I think it worked out well, and we have a Final Four team with lots of returning players doing it."
Kaminsky will be joined by eight of his Wisconsin teammates at the camp Sunday. Eight University of Illinois players, including Rayvonte Rice and Tracy Abrams, the Illini's top two scorers last season, will be the instructors at a camp on Saturday.
The camps are for boys entering grades 3 through 12 and offer players the perfect opportunity to get a taste of what college basketball is like.
"The camps are going to have drills and activities those guys do at school," Harrington said. "Campers are going to get a chance to see how the players work out, and the players are going to break down drills and teach the campers."
The camp will be beneficial not only for the participants, but for the teachers, too. Harrington worked with the NCAA and is able to pay the players for their time at the camp.
"I had to go through a lot of things with NCAA compliance to make sure it's legal," Harrington said, "but I can pay them to do what they love, which is play basketball and teach basketball."
If you go
What: The Players Camp
When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
Where: Walker Athletics, 4925 Indiana Ave., Lisle
Who: College players from University of Illinois and University of Wisconsin
More info: theplayerscamp.com