Drumheller hoopster attends Michael Jordan’s Flight School
It has been a couple generations since young basketball players first pulled on the famous red and black high-tops with the swoosh and began to dream that they could “Be Like Mike.”
That dream continues today for many, and where is the best place to learn to Be Like Mike? Flight School of course.
That is just what 12-year-old Deyrold Dean Jr. did. From July 23 to August 3, he attended the Michael Jordan Flight School Basketball camp at the University of California Santa Barbara. During the intense camp from sun up to sun down, he lived and breathed life according to Jordan. This included drills, lessons, scrimmages and classroom time with Michael Jordan himself. More than just basketball, there were lessons on how to be successful.
His father Deyrold Sr. is a big Michael Jordan fan and instantly saw the value the camp holds.
“On the first day, Jordan said in the welcome speech ‘your kid might not learn any basketball, but he will learn discipline,” said Deyrold Sr. “That was my intention for taking him.”
The camp is very prestigious, with players coming from across the United States as well as international players from South America and China. Often these players are very skilled and could be in the national programs. Many other have aspirations of playing in college and earning scholarships. Deyrold Jr. believes he was the only Canadian attending the camp at the time.
Not only did he get a chance to receive instruction from Jordan and top NCAA coaches, but there were appearances by current NBA stars such as Chris Paul of the LA Clippers, Derrick Fisher and Jimmy Butler with the Chicago Bulls and the American Olympic basketball team.
On the court, Deyrold Jr. said he saw most of his improve- ment in passing and rebounding. He also met a number of great players and made friends. At the beginning of the camp, the players were divided into teams and his squad went undefeated and won the camp tournament.
Deyrold Jr. Grade 8 at is St. going into Anthony’s School and last year he had a strong season as a power forward playing on the Junior A team. This camp showed him where he can improve, and he has come back inspired and is putting in court time at BCF honing his skills for the upcoming season.
(above) Deyrold Dean Jr.’s team with Michael Jordan’s Flight School in July at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Below he shows off his autographed Air Jordan jersey.