Squire preps hoops players for the future

Published 9:28 am Thursday, November 3, 2016

Basketball players in the area had the special opportunity Sunday to benefit from the training provided by Tony Squire through one his 2016 fall skills development and exposure camps held in Farmville.

Approximately 35 campers participated, ranging from 5th- through 12th-graders, with at least one camper coming from as far as Louisville, Ky.

Prince Edward County High School Head Boys Basketball Coach James Scott was pleased with how the event went.

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“The camp was very rewarding,” he said. “It’s great that out of so many schools, he picked our facilities. And the young men enjoyed it, and I enjoyed it, and it’s good for everybody. It’s good for the community. And my hat goes off to Mr. Squire for running a very outstanding camp.”

Squire has developed a strong reputation in the nation as someone who can help prepare young players for the college ranks, and he has the respect of college coaches that enables him to help give players valuable exposure.

“My thing is, whatever you’ve been blessed to be able to do, share it,” he said, noting that if he had not reached out to help other young players, “on my spiritual side, I’d be cheating God, because He took the most unlikely guy and put me in the situation where I’m able to call coaches around the country and for them to reply back to me or put somebody on the radar, sight unseen. That means something, and I don’t cheat them, and I won’t cheat the kid, because I don’t blow smoke. If you’re not ready, you’re not ready.”

Some big names in the basketball world have worn the Squires jersey, including Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Amare Stoudemire.

Squire encourages campers to take basketball seriously. He said he tells them that if they are playing in high school, they should be trying to get a scholarship.

“Because one day, if that doesn’t happen, you might be a great coach, or you might come back and be somebody that helps the next person out because you’ve gone through it,” he said. “Then you’ll be able to share it with the next generation.”

He designs his camps to help players hone the skills they need moving forward, rather than serve as an opportunity to play hours of whole-court games.

“We didn’t do that at all today,” he said. “It was strictly situational drills, a lot of teaching went over.”

He noted to campers that the content of the camp was not meant to be boring.

“If you can’t enjoy doing the type of stuff that we did today, then you’re going to have a problem, because what we did today is all you do to get better,” he said.

Prince Edward sophomore Azadeia Lewis said he put in the work to help him play better with not just his right hand but also his left.

Opposite hand work, passing, dribbling, shooting and defensive concepts were the order of the day.

Squire emphasized the importance of persistent hard work to succeed, noting that scholarships can be lost, and he has spoken with NBA executives who have warned players, “Just because you make it here, that doesn’t mean you’ll stay here. It’s all about work.”

Nelson County High School Basketball Coach Brian Wilson, who helped with the camp, said, “It was great, and it was really good for the kids to get this kind of work in.”