OLLU men’s basketball hosts Spurs overnight camp for first time

The OLLU men’s basketball program, in conjunction with the San Antonio Spurs, recently hosted a youth camp at Mabee Gymnasium. The overnight event, held July 9-14, included 63 players ages 14-18 who received the full college experience, from dining at the cafeteria to staying in the Flores Residence Hall.

Saints Head Coach Chris Dial and Assistant Coach David Smith worked with various staff members from the Spurs to host the camp. Spurs Vice President of Youth Sports Joe Clark and Associate Director of Camps and Clinics Austin Peebles work with youth camps year-round and helped bring the clinic to OLLU for the first time. This season marks the 50th anniversary of the camps.

Clark and Peebles have been with the Spurs for many years and bring a wealth of knowledge to the participants. Clark started as an intern in ticket sales for the Spurs and has been with the organization for 38 years. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin prior to joining the program. He commented, “This was the first time we were able to work with the university to put together this camp. We have a great relationship with Head Coach Chris Dial and the men’s basketball staff. OLLU President Chávez (Abel Antonio Chávez, MBA, PhD) supported this idea to bring the Spurs brand to the community. We teach values off the court including being a good teammate and having respect for the game and opponents.” Clark added that players from throughout the United States and different countries are attending the camp.

Peebles has 15 years of experience and started as a coordinator. He also worked with the Chicago Bulls prior to joining the Spurs organization. The Illinois native handles setting up the coaching staff for the camps, managing the equipment, player appearances and more. He notes that having a solid structure of coaches helps the sessions run smoothly.