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Camp KJ

When Kevin Jones was a player at West Virginia, he was considered a high-energy guy.

He needed all of that motor to keep up with the nearly 200 kids that showed up for his first basketball camp at George Washington High School on Friday.

There were 120 registered for the camp that runs through Sunday, but an additional 70 showed up on Friday just before the start, pushing the attendance to capacity and testing the stamina of Jones and his staff, which includes fellow former Mountaineers Da'Sean Butler and Truck Bryant.

"It's crazy, there's no way to prepare for that," Jones said. "We were thinking about 25 were going to come this morning, but 70? There's no way to prepare for that amount of kids. I think we did well adjusting to the situation though. We just want to get them going and get them running because they have a lot of energy, especially the little kids."

Campers range in age between 7-16 and include boys and girls. And while it was Jones' first try at running a camp, he was very pleased with the turnout and already has plans on expanding it next year.

"We're going to try to make this an annual thing and expand it into other cities and hopefully other states," Jones said. "I'd like to get one in New York since that's where I'm from in the city of Mount Vernon."

In the morning session, Jones and his staff led the campers through drill stations in both the upstairs and downstairs gyms at GW. After lunch, which consisted of barbecue catered in by Bobby's Bar and Grill in Cross Lanes, Jones said games would be organized.

As for Jones, he will join the Cleveland Cavaliers in September to get acquainted before training camp begins in October. In the meantime, he said he would be working out in Morgantown.

While Jones' plans are concrete, the same can't be said for Bryant or Butler, although both were clearly glad to be a part of the weekend's camp.

"KJ is like my brother so of course I'm going to come and support him," Bryant said. "The camp has been good - little kids running around. Little kids are going to do what they want, so it's really just coaching the big kids. It's fun though."

"Camp has been going well," Butler said. "Kevin has done an amazing job, him and his brother [Gerard] have put together something amazing. All these people have come out here and shown love and support for Kevin Jones and that's the main reason I came down. I'm a BIG supporter of Kevin Jones and he's one of the reasons I had a great senior year. I have a great friendship with him."

Bryant, who is currently working out with Jones in Morgantown, said he is destined for at least one year in Europe with the NBA as a future goal. Butler, meanwhile, was hobbling around on crutches and in a leg brace after reinjuring the same knee he hurt in WVU's Final Four game against Duke in 2010.

It's been a bit of a rough road for Butler in terms of basketball, and he said he's looking at another 6-8 months of rehab before he is basketball-ready again.

Despite the setback, Butler was in good spirits on Friday, and even offered insights about his goals after his playing career is finished.

"I'll probably go back to school while I have some free time and get my master's," Butler said. "I want to get it in athletic coaching. Coaching is definitely something I want to do, so that will be good."  

And with nearly 200 kids under their tutelage over the weekend, Butler, Jones, Bryant, and the rest of the staff are getting a crash-course in coaching and trying to learn on the fly.

"It's a little hectic at first," Jones said of the camp. "You don't know what to expect, it's our first camp. But all the staff is here now and we're at full capacity, so it's going real well.

"Having my brother, Truck, and Da'Sean and all the people that volunteer, I couldn't ask for anything else."

Briefly

  • Butler will hold his own camp at the Coliseum in Morgantown next weekend, with boys and girls ages 13-and-under coming on Friday and campers 14-and-older coming Saturday and Sunday. The camp is $100 for Friday or $175 for the weekend.
  • For more information contact Amanda Siegrist or Chet Ervin at 513-381-4564 or email them at siegrista@kmgsports.com or cervin@kmgsports.com.

  • Butler, Bryant, and Jones will make one last appearance while in Charleston. The trio will be on hand from 3-5 p.m. Sunday at the Charleston Civic Center in the Mountaineer Room as part of a sports card show that runs from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Reach Ryan Pritt at 304-348-7948, ryan.pritt@wvgazette.com, or follow him at twitter.com/rpritt.


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