‘Youngstarz’ makes many young stars

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 3, 2005

When children watch young NBA stars like Lebron James or Caron Butler tearing up the courts, and their opponents, some might think that all that ability is natural – that James and Butler were born with the ability to do battle with pro basketball’s elite.

They don’t realize that before James, Butler, or any other NBA player got within an area code of the country’s best, they spent years, even decades, honing their trade. Hour and hour, jumper after jumper, layup after layup, missed shot after missed shot, it takes almost unthinkable dedication and determination to get to the big leagues.

At Nansemond River High School over the past week, varsity basketball coach Ed Young and some of his Southeastern District champion players helped get a few dozen small cagers on the road to the NBA at the &uot;Youngstarz&uot; basketball camp. Nearly 50 players, from elementary to high school age, started sharpening the basics of the hardcourt sport.

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&uot;My motto is, ‘I can make them a star… with their help,’&uot; Young said. &uot;Our idea is to give them the basics. There’s a lot of one-on-one, two-on-two, three-on-three. By the time they get to my level, I can do more with them. They see the NBA product, and they want to hurry up and do what they see, and they don’t think about what those players went through. This is just basics. This helps my players, because they can turned what they learned from me into helping young kids.&uot;

One such player was Douglas Edwards.

&uot;I didn’t get this opportunity when I was their age,&uot; said the sophomore, who hopes to make his varsity debut this winter. &uot;It’s nice just being able to teach them what our coaches taught us. I’ve been practicing with them, so I’ve been getting better as they’ve gotten better.&uot;

King’s Fork Middle School student Curtis Roberts wanted to get good enough to make the school team during his eighth-grade year this fall.

&uot;I didn’t make the team last year, and I want to make it now,&uot; he said between running drills. &uot;I’ve learned defense, dribbling, shooting correctly, and doing left-handed layups. I had to switch my shot; I’d been pushing my elbow in, instead of going straight out.&uot;