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NBA point guard Delaney Rudd highlights special guests for P&HCC women’s basketball camp | College

There were about 40 young athletes in attendance for the Patrick & Henry Community College women’s basketball camp over the weekend.

The number of players was exciting for P&HCC women’s hoops coach Herb Daniel, but what he was more excited about was the special guest coaches who shared their basketball expertise with those campers.

Daniel was helped at the camp by Patrick County High School girls basketball coach Donny Rakes, Magna Vista girls basketball coach Kyana Smith, Chatham High School girls basketball coach Rhonda Jefferson, and trainers Ebony Allen and Jarrod Thomas, among others.

Friday’s guest coach was Cave Spring High School boys basketball Jacob Gruse, a two-time VHSL state champions.

Saturday’s special guest was Delaney Rudd, a Hollister, North Carolina native and Wake Forest University alumni who spent parts of four years playing in the NBA, most with the Utah Jazz from 1989-1992. Rudd spent the first part of the morning telling the campers about his background about him – he grew up working on tobacco farms outside of Winston-Salem, was recruited by UNC alongside Michael Jordan, and was later cut by the Jazz before working his way back to the team.

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“They have knocked it out the ballpark,” Daniel said of the guests he brought in to the camp.

“His (Rudd’s) story was so inspiring.”

Rudd, who now coaches the girls basketball team at Winston-Salem Christian School in North Carolina, has built a relationship with Daniel over the years by running into each other at the same tournaments and recruiting events. The former NBA point guard said he thought the P & HCC camp would be a good opportunity to come to Martinsville and meet some young basketball players in the area, see them play, and share his story about him in hopes of inspiring them for their future .

“You see a bunch of kids that hopefully, what I think, have dreams to try to get better as a player, to be a very good high school player, or have the chance to get a scholarship to play in college,” Rudd said . “The kids worked hard, they paid attention. I was very excited about the fact that their focus was very good.”

Players at the camp – which allowed for ages 6-16 – were split into two groups, one for elementary school-aged players, and one for middle and high school. The younger group focused on agility, basic passing and shooting drills. The older group worked more on improving their basketball IQ, with an emphasis on skills like moving without the ball, how to properly finish a layup with your correct hand, how to catch the ball off of a screen, and decision-making.

“In elementary school, you just want to go have fun,” Daniel said. “You just want to grab the ball and run around the gym.”

“We want them to take different things. If you’re in high school, you’re already beginning to think about, ‘I want to go play in college. What do I need to do to get those skill sets ready?’”

Rudd said that, while every player is different with different skills they need to work on, the main thing he wants players to get out of his camps is building confidence.

“The harder you work, the more confident you become,” Rudd said. “If I was a camper, which I was at one stage a million years ago, my focus was always to learn how to do things at the highest rate, speed-wise. Do it as hard as you can, in real life situations. So if you’re working towards being a better player you’ve got to do it in real life situations where you’re busting your butt every drill, every play, so you learn to do that all the time.”

Rudd hopes that hearing his story to the NBA helps players in their own journeys.

“I want them to know that you don’t have to be from a huge city,” he said. “You don’t have to be from a glamorous situation. You just have to develop a work ethic, a belief in yourself where even if it looks like it’s not going to happen you continue to work while dealing with adversity. And the big thing is understanding, as I told them today, don’t expect life to get easier as it goes. It’s going to get harder. And the people who learn how to deal with the hard are the ones who are going to survive. Don’t look forward to it being easy. Look forward to it being hard and just learn how to deal with the hard.”

The camp concluded on Sunday morning. Even though learning, and improving, basketball skills was why the campers were there, Daniel wanted to make sure they all had fun in the gym, as well.

“Having fun is extremely important,” Daniel said. “And that’s every sport. If you’re enjoying what you’re doing then you’re going to do it with more enthusiasm, you’re going to do it with more passion.

“If you do something you love, you find a job you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. I believe that. Basketball is one of those things that I would do for free. Literally, I would come down and volunteer my time all the time just because I love it that much.”

“I appreciate what he’s doing. He’s an excellent coach,” Rudd said of Daniel. “He works the kids hard, he had a great report with the kids, and I think it’s a beautiful thing that he’s doing. And if he wants me to come back again, hopefully I get invited back again in the future.”

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