Tyler, who as a rookie averaged 4.9 points and 3.3 rebounds in 42 games for Golden State this season, shared valuable lessons, signed autographs and posed for pictures. “My favorite part of this camp was seeing Jeremy Tyler,” said 8-year-old Matthew Cauton.
As 6-foot-10-inch Tyler made the rounds from group to group during one-on-one drills, few of the kids’ shots fell, but the experience of facing NBA competition was all they cared about. “It’s so exciting,” said 13-year-old Mark Stracke. “It’s great to get to know the players more.”
Tyler’s appearance wrapped up the weeklong camp that focused on overall skill improvement through the development of fundamentals and teamwork – though some campers couldn’t take their eyes off Tyler as camp coaches tried to teach the correct way to pass, shoot and play defense.
“You must continue to know that teamwork is the essence of life,” Tyler said. “It’s so important to have people around you that care.”
Tyler said since so many fans came out to support the Warriors this season, he valued the opportunity to give back. Campers were given two tickets to a Warriors game. About 21,000 kids have attended Warriors camps since 2000.
“It’s really important to give back to the community,” Tyler said. “We play for the enjoyment of kids and their families. Without them, we wouldn’t be who we are.”
Tyler’s appearance and the high-profile camp also brought out members of the Freedom basketball team. The camp was staffed by local high school and college coaches plus current and former college players.
Freedom senior Sam Bide, who came to see if he could help, stuck around to see Tyler as well as shoot some hoops. Bide said most kids don’t get to attend camps at such a young age.
The camp held at Freedom was the first of 16 offered across the Bay Area this summer. The camps touch on the basics of basketball and incorporate advanced skills such as post and perimeter footwork and moving without the ball.
“It’s important they get to learn the fundamentals at a young age,” Bide said.
During a question-and-answer session, Tyler was peppered with questions ranging from his favorite NBA player to his shoe size to whether he could dunk. Tyler’s responses: Amare Stoudemire; size 16; and yes, he certainly can.
“Yes I can dunk,” Tyler said with a smile. “But if you really want to watch someone dunk, you should watch Amare.”
For more information about Warriors Camps, call 510-986-5310.