Chloé Kerr Goes Big: Hear Her Tales From Pete Newell's Camp
Aug. 2, 2005
Tall Women Need Love Too, On The Court That Is!
In May 2005 I was accepted to attend Pete Newell's Tall Women's Camp in July. The camp lasted four days, and it was worth the trip. I had a chance to meet Pete Newell Sr., an icon in the basketball world, and Hall of Famer Ann Meyers. Although a UCLA alum, I learned so much from just listening to her wisdom and watching her teach. I was honored to be there, and it was nice having our incoming freshman Nadia Parker there to enjoy this prestigious camp.
When I first got there I did not know what to expect. The campus took me by surprise. We stayed on the campus of CSU-Monterey Bay. Although it seemed like campus was deserted because there were no students, the girls from camp made each day exciting. When I arrived I ran into a girl by the name of Olayinka Sanni (West Virginia University) whom we called Yinka. By chance, we had played against each other in high school back in Chicago. It was nice to see a friendly face! Other girls who were at camp included Mistie Bass-Williams (Duke University), Liz Bilard (Southern Mississippi), Alexis Castro (Vermont), Patrycja Gulak (UMass), Jenna Green and Autumn Nichols (UC Santa Barbara), Daphne Mitchell and Lauren Sauer (Georgia Tech) and Ms. Courtney from Hampton. Other universities represented were Northwestern, Oral Roberts and New Mexico, just to name a few, as well as many others. All the girls were some of the nicest people I have ever met, and I will enjoy following all of them and their teams this season. Good luck ladies!
At camp, a typical day went a little like this: Wake up, go eat breakfast, hustle to session #1. Eat lunch, hustle to session #2, eat dinner, maybe get an hour to relax, then our final session for the day. We usually began at 9:00 a.m. and finished at 9:00/9:30 at night. I know it sounds tiresome, and it was. I could hardly walk by the end of the third day! The days were long, but it was well worth the sacrifice. Pete Newell Jr. taught the majority of the camp and he wanted us to leave this camp with sharper tools as a post player and the confidence to use them successfully. When I left, I could feel that confidence that Pete Jr. wanted all of us to have. My mom always says, 'That is the difference between a good player and a great player!'
In the sessions, the basic keys to each move were footwork and reading the defense. Another factor that Ann Meyers said is the difference between good and great players is... Patience! 'Slow Down!' she would say. It did get frustrating at times because we were all post players. So, passing and dribbling were challenging for the week! After this camp I appreciated Jamie, Allie, Simone, Camille, Megan, Shay, Brynn, and Jaz even more... thank goodness for our guards. I love you girls! We learned moves from the wing, high post, low post, mid-post and middle of the key. Every move we learned on the left, we learned on the right side of the court too. Camp got very competitive when we all used what we learned against each other in 1-on-1, 2-on-2 or 4-on-4 cut-throat series. When we would play against each other, the passion rose from everyone. We went at one another; I mean we would go full force on defense and offense. That is what made each day better, the competition. We made each other better as the week progressed, and that was definitely a motivational tool that helped get us through each session.
As the last session came, my body was worn down, but I was inspired as we finished. I was proud of myself, not only for coming to camp, but for making it through and meeting such humble and marvelous people. I was proud that each day I made someone better at her craft. And each day others at camp made me better as a basketball player and a wiser athlete. I really enjoyed all that Pete Jr. and Ann Meyers taught me because being around the best brought my spirits to a whole other level. I am thankful to my parents for investing in my future, for this camp taught me that I can be a major contributor to the USC Women's Basketball family, not only as a player but as a person and a thinker of the game.
It is a joy for me to share my camp experience with all of you. I hope that one day an experience like this may cross your path, which teaches you aspects that may carry into everyday life. With that said...Salaam alaikum 'Peace and blessings be unto you.'
With love,Chloé a.k.a. CK