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Coach Chris Sparks '95 takes away from NBA summer hoop camp
Posted 06/25/2012 09:04AM

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Coach Chris Sparks '95 takes away from NBA summer hoop camp

A last-second trip to a basketball camp was well worth it for Wilbraham & Monson Academy Boys' Basketball Coach Chris Sparks '95, so much so that he hopes to go in the future with a WMA player or two in tow.

Coach Sparks was just one of eight high school coaches invited to work at the NBA Players Association Top 100 Camp at the University of Virginia June 13-16.

“There were a lot of good takeaways,” Coach Sparks said. “One of the neat things they do for the kids is they use the same resources that the rookies get at the NBA Rookie Camps. There's a lot of education about sex, social networking, and drugs and alcohol. They give the kids as much information as possible in discussion groups.

“It wasn't just a basketball camp. Even though these kids are supposedly the top 100 players in the country, they usually go to these events and just play basketball. It's nice someone took the time to do some of these things, and for me that was a huge takeaway.”

Coach Sparks was surrounded by 34 current and former NBA players who were interested in coaching. As instructed, Coach Sparks served as a mentor, but he was also able to learn some things from the NBA players.

“We mentored the NBA players who want to be coaches eventually,” Coach Sparks said. “The two guys I had, Terry Dehere and Anthony Avent, both Seton Hall guys, I learned a lot from them in regards to their experience and their motivation to get into coaching.

“It was a great camp and a great opportunity. There were five kids from New England there, all from prep schools we play, so hopefully we'll get Wilbraham & Monson Academy kids to that camp at some point.”

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