Commonwealth Journal

Local Sports

June 27, 2013

Learning From A Pro

Former UK stars Cousins, Sheppard wow young campers at Rocky Hollow

Somerset —

It is not every day in Somerset that one gets to witness, up close and in person, an individual standing nearly 7-feet tall and weighing 270 pounds.
Even rarer when one sees a child that barely reaches that man’s knees blow past him to toss a ball at a basket, as the very large individual laughs in mock-disbelief.
Those gathered in the Rocky Hollow Recreation Center on South Central Avenue were treated to just such a rare spectacle Wednesday, on the first day of the DeMarcus Cousins Nike Elite Skills Basketball Camp. 
Cousins, of course, is a name well-known to University of Kentucky basketball fans (which, it may be said, are fairly plentiful in this part of the country). The center on coach John Calipari’s first Wildcat squad in 2009-10, the Alabama native known affectionately as “Boogie” was drafted as a top 5 pick by the NBA’s Sacramento Kings, where he’s averaged 16.3 points and 9.8 rebounds his first three years in the league.
Cousins joined fellow UK stars Jeff Sheppard — a guard from 1993-97 — and Julius Mays, who joined the team this past year for his senior season after transferring from Wright State, as instructors at the camp for youth.
“I loved basketball camp. I went to basketball camp as a kid and it was the highlight of my year every single year,” said Sheppard, who acted as sort of the vocal organizer throughout much of the day. “I love putting on basketball camps. ... To be able to teach (the kids) about basketball, a little bit about, and let them meet Julius and DeMarcus and spend some time with us is just a great thrill.”
The camp has two-a-day sessions — a morning event from 9 a.m. to noon and one in the afternoon from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. — where kids can compete, shoot around, ask the UK legends questions in a rare sit-down forum, and get their photo taken. 

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