June 23, 2010

Randolph stars at elite camp

Alabama's recent basketball recruiting efforts landed them a commitment from four-star shooting guard Levi Randolph, one of the top overall prospects in the nation for the Class of 2011. Randolph continued to prove his elite status last week at the Top 100 High School Camp hosted by the NBA Players Association, one of the most prestigious high school basketball camps in the nation. The event gave Randolph the opportunity to not only showcase his talent on a national stage but also work with and learn from some of today's top NBA players.

"I got there last Wednesday and didn't come home until Sunday," said Randolph. "It was a really great experience, probably one of the coolest things I've ever gotten to do. I got to work with some of the best players in the world and they were all there to help me become a better player. They also talked to us a lot about making good life decisions and how to handle the pressure of being a famous athlete, things like that."

"For the first few days we worked on skill development and then the second half of the camp was basically a tournament. We worked at different stations with different NBA players and former players on things like ball screens, defensive skills and even some NBA plays that we got to use later in the week when we played."

Players at the camp were each assigned a current or former NBA player to work with them personally on their development and Randolph was paired with 13-year NBA veteran Kevin Ollie, currently with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Ollie encouraged Randolph to try and take a different approach during the tournament portion of the camp that would help his unique abilities stand out from other guards at the camp.

"Kevin was awesome to work with. He really cared about helping me get better while I was there and he kind of came up with a way for me to sort of separate myself from the other guys at the camp. He really stressed defense with me. He told me not to worry about just jacking up shots and trying to impress everybody on offense but instead to just go focus on being the most intense player out there on defense."

Randolph, the No. 32 overall prospect in the 2011 class, was happy with his performance during the competitive stage of the camp and felt his focus on defense helped him stand out among the field of talented prospects.

"I felt like I played really solid during the tournament. I didn't go out there and try to wow people with my shooting. That's not why I was there. I decided I would use that opportunity to work on something I wasn't as good at and I felt like I really became a lot better at guarding the quicker point guards I played against."

The NBA Players Association camp won't be the last prestigious camp Randolph will participate in this summer, with several other big time events remaining on his schedule.

"This weekend I head up to Kevin Durant's camp and then in July I'm going to Lebron James' camp. I'm also going to try to make it up to Portland to tryout for the U-18 national team. Other than that I'll be continuing to play with my AAU team and trying to finish out our season strong and make a good postseason run."

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