We just wrapped up the eighth year of my basketball camp here in Dallas last week, and it was a great experience that was also a lot of fun.
I usually put on the camp myself through my foundation, but this year, I decided to partner with Higher Goals to do it. It was pretty similar to the camps I’ve put on in the past, but we liked the idea of teaming up with an organization like Higher Goals.
The camp was set in Grapevine, which is a nice area out here in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. We had a great turnout of about 75 kids ages 7-14, and went from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. each day Monday through Thursday. The kids had a great time, and I think we really made it enjoyable for them to learn the process of playing basketball.
I may not play here anymore, but I still live here in Dallas. and I enjoy giving back to the community. I think I’ve been a big inspiration to the city through my community work as well as the time I’ve played here in Dallas. A lot of people were able to relate to me while I was here, and a lot of them still follow me through the other teams that I’ve played for.
We also have a lot of kids that come back every year, so I know it’s important to them. I know I’ve had a positive influence on people in this city and I want to continue to do that as long as God permits. I’ve witnessed kids at my camp getting better and growing each year, going from the younger kid groups to the older kid groups and understanding the game now.
When they leave camp, some of them will let me know the next day that they had practice and they worked on some of the skills on at my camp. During the season, I check in on them through their AAU coaches who are some of our counselors at the event, and they keep me posted on how the kids from camp are doing.
For me, these camps are about more than teaching the fundamentals. On the final day, we had a lesson in teamwork and picking guys up, teaching the kids not to get mad when a teammate doesn’t know the play or doesn’t understand the game. You just have to cheer them on and keep it positive. Teaching values like that is one of my primary goals at these camps.
I enjoy doing stuff back in my hometown and here in Dallas. To be able to put camps on and show these communities I care and I’m going to be there is a great feeling. It’s a blessing that I can pass this knowledge on, and it’s also a blessing to have kids around me that want to learn it from a professional player who has been through hard times and good times. If they’re willing to learn, I’m willing to teach.
My other annual camp in North Carolina is coming up at the beginning of August. That camp will be held at Glenn High School in Kennersville. Information on how to sign up for it is at JoshHowardFoundation.com. Make sure to sign up by June 30th to get the Early Bird rate.
We have some other things in the works through my foundation so keep an eye on my website here and JoshHowardFoundation.com. There will be a lot of updates on there throughout the summer.
PROGRESS AND PATIENCE
As far as my knee goes, I’m feeling pretty good. In my last visit back in May, the doctor said I was doing pretty well. I’ve had no setbacks. I can actually run and I’ve been shooting for about a month now. I can’t cut yet, but I can run straight up and down.
I’ve certainly benefitted from having been through this before. I know the process and the steps to take. I know when I need to rest my body so I don’t overdo it.
I’m rehabbing and going through physical therapy work at least four days a week. When I’m in Dallas, I work out at a fully loaded facility with a weight room, a gym, a football field and an Olympic pool. I’ve gone in the pool and done some exercises in there, which takes the stress off the knees, ankles and joints. My Dallas trainer, Eric Lamb, has done a great job, and when I’m in North Carolina, I work out with Lee Howard. Those two guys have helped me out a lot.
At my camp last week, I was able to get out and run some drills with the kids, and I also referee, which was pretty fun. But it kind of made me feel for the officials in the league because some of those kids give you an attitude real quick if they think you missed a call. So after I played that part I kind of sympathize with officials.
But I think because of the way I’ve approached this, having been through it before, I’m actually healing a little bit faster this time around. Of course, you can’t tell what’s going on inside the knee. That’s why the doctors are there. They make sure I’m doing what I’m supposed to do and regardless of how I feel, I have to follow protocol and just keep going.
I’m at the once every two months stage now for doctor’s visits, so my next appointment isn’t until July 19th. I have every confidence that I’ll be released then. Until then, I still have another few weeks of work, so I’m going to get it in like I’m supposed to. I’ve been able to take advantage of the time to keep my upper body and core in shape. I’m just looking forward to when I get fully released to actually cut loose and play basketball.
Before I go, I want to thank all my fans for keeping up with me, looking out for me and making sure I’m healthy and in good spirits. Keep looking out for me. Basketball isn’t over for me, and I’m going to keep going. Thank you very much for being my fans.