“Thump… Thump… Thump… Thump… Thump…”
The sound of bouncing basketballs fill the stadium. If you closed your eyes for just a few seconds, it sounded like rain pattering on the rooftops. A hundred kids were dribbling their basketballs in unison—performing an unorthodox orchestral piece. This was the final day of Jordan Farmar’s 6th annual Hoop Farm, and I was ready to soak it all in.
Hoop Farm 2013 was held from July 29 through August 1 at UCLA’s brand new Pauley Pavilion. Children within the range of 7-16 are able to attend the camp, and Union Rescue Mission was blessed to be able to send a group fully sponsored by Jordan Farmar’s Foundation. Each student sent received an official Hoop Farm t-shirt, reversible jersey, and yoga mat!
To start the day off, the participants rolled out their yoga mats and began their stretching. I took some personal notes as my own flexibility leaves something to be desired. Then the “real” basketball training began, where the basketball court transformed something akin to a rotating organic clock—each timed station would teach an important basketball fundamental. Pushups, dribbling, defense, plyometrics; all combined would give the individual the tools to become a well-rounded player. Most importantly, the whole camp emphasized teamwork and cooperation—and it showed in the scrimmages to come.
One of the highlights of the day was the camp “Knockout” game. The interesting part about this game was the long line of participants (20+), and included Jordan Farmar and all of the coaches.
But the finale was what everyone was waiting in anticipation for. The camp held a final scrimmage—teams combined of coaches and children. Amazingly enough, the kids were able to hold their own versus the much more physically dominant counselors; many of them members of the UCLA basketball team. I was in awe at the level of play exhibited towards the end, and with each passing photograph wondered if I had just taken the picture of the next NBA star. Who knows?