Drumheller hoop­ster at­tends Michael Jor­dan’s Flight School

The Drumheller Mail - - SPORTS - Pa­trick Ko­lafa The Drumheller Mail sub­mit­ted

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.

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