Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Avery and Booker Instructors of Summer's First Camp

Frank Booker Highlights

Augusta's most experienced "basketball people" all know two of the instructors at the summer's first youth basketball camp:  Will Avery and Frank Booker.  Avery, the camp's founder and one of the area's most accomplished players, is using Booker, one of the area's best high school players and a rising senior at Westside High School, to help teach the young campers the fundamentals of the game in a fun and competitive setting.

That Booker is associated with Avery is no surprise.  Avery is a former state champion at Westside High School who proceeded to have a fine career at Duke University before being a first round draft pick of the NBA's Minnesota Timberwolves.  And he is one of many great role models in the Booker's life.  Booker's father, also named Frank, was a star basketball player in his own right at Westside and at Bowling Green University in the 1980's before playing professional basketball for many years.  And the shooter's father is quick to point out all of the great people from whom his son Frank is lucky to learn.

Westside Guard Frank Booker Instructs at the
Will Avery Basketball Camp
Tony Mitchell, the former Josey and College of Charleston stand out guard, regularly trains Booker and has been credited with much of the progress Frank has recently shown.  And longtime Augusta basketball authority (and Auburn University Athletic Hall of Fame inductee) Gerald White has had as much to do with Booker's long term development as anyone.  Add a great high school coaching staff, consisting of veteran head coach Marvin Fields and Booker's father Frank, and it is tempting to believe that young Frank has been given unfair advantages.

But assuming that Booker's ability on the court, and his performance in the classroom, is the product of an unfair advantage would not be wise.  One only needs to watch Booker compete to realize he earns every bit of success he attains.  Whether he is setting the pace for others to follow at his daily workouts with Mitchell and diving on the floor for loose balls soon after at the ABR Spring League, or defending, rebounding, and creating opportunities for teammates during Westside's recent run to the state playoffs sweet sixteen round, Booker has proven he is no ordinary "great shooter."  His will to improve, compete, and succeed has impressed many.  The young campers at the Will Avery Basketball Camp are lucky to be learning from some of the best guards Westside High School, and Augusta in general, have produced.