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Norris Cole takes part in elite skills academy

Senior point guard plans to take what he learned back to the younger players, hopes that the exposure benefits the rest of the team and results in more wins

JULY 12, 2010

Senior point guard Norris Cole was among eleven other collegiate basketball players who were invited to the Deron Williams Nike Basketball Skills Academy that was held in Chicago June 24-26. The camp featured NBA-style drills designed to give the players professional training in an intense atmosphere.

Norris ColeDeron Williams, all-star point guard for the Utah Jazz, was a former University of Illinois standout who began the annual camp last year.
“It was different [from other camps] because it was NBA instructions and NBA people teaching us,” said Cole.

The players attended talks by Deron Williams off the court in addition to the training on it. Cole said that Williams had words of advice about making it to the NBA, and tips for adjusting to the professional caliber of play.

“Williams said that the point guard needs to be under control and dictate what goes on out on the court; and that you don’t have to be flashy to be effective,” said Cole.

The camp overlapped with this years NBA draft, so naturally the players watched it together. For seniors like Cole who play at the mid-major level, camps such as these can allow them unique opportunities to open the eyes of the scouts who observe these camps for NBA teams. Not playing many nationally broadcast regular season games means fewer chances to perform in front of scouts.

Cole not only hopes that he played well enough over the weekend to help raise his own draft status, but also so he can help bring a cycle of success that boosts exposure for the program. As a senior, Cole is going to bring the knowledge gained during the weekend to the rest of the team. He hopes that the new drills will help the team win more games and in turn provide more opportunities for CSU players to go to similar camps in the future.

Cole is more than just a positive influence to the younger players on the court, he is also a health science major ready to graduate in May.

Many NBA stars hold similar camps to the one hosted by Williams, including one hosted in early July by Miami Heat star LeBron James in his hometown of Akron.