Orlando Magic will host virtual summer camps as social distancing continues

Orlando Magic guard Michael Carter-Williams conducted a Jr. NBA workout online to help young players stay sharp during quarantine. (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)
Orlando Magic guard Michael Carter-Williams conducted a Jr. NBA workout online to help young players stay sharp during quarantine. (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images) /

Summer basketball camps are the highlight of many kids’ summer. This year the Orlando Magic are taking them online to replace physical camps.

For many young basketball players in Orlando and around the country, one of the highlights of every summer is attending basketball camp.

The current coronavirus pandemic has shut down sporting events around the world and only now are the professional athletes slowly getting back to work.

But the world of youth sports is still largely shut down — despite some efforts in Florida to approve the resumption of summer camps and other youth sports activities. It is unclear when everyone will feel safe to send their kids back to the playing fields.

Youth sports have taken the hardest hit and will have the slowest recovery.

The virus has put everything in question. And like everything else, the world is still trying to adjust.

Personally, one of the highlights for me every summer when I was in elementary school was going to basketball camps, whether it was at the school I was attending or Anthony Bowie’s basketball camp or the one hosted by the Orlando Magic.

This was a highlight of the summer every year for me — and probably for countless other children across Central Florida and beyond. The chance to play basketball for an entire week and work on skills and play games was heaven.

These times have done a lot to take away normalcy for young students especially. Schools were cut short and youth sports were cut short. Summer camps are likely off the table this week. And even these kinds of in-person sports camps are uncertain.

The Magic are going to do at least their part to bring some of the camp home.

The team announced that instead of hosting a summer camp like it normally would, the Magic will conduct a virtual basketball camp beginning Monday (June 1).

The full-day camp will include instruction through Zoom and the Ballology mobile app. Participants will get a free ticket to a future Magic game and other Magic prizes.

The team is also offering 50 free scholarships to those who may not be able to afford the camp and The National Basketball Academy is offering another 20 scholarships for those who want to participate in the camp.

More information and registration information is available at OrlandoMagicYouth.com.

This is part of the game and the responsibility of the NBA to give back. Teams want to grow the game and help teach the game to young players all over the world. The Magic have always been very active in the community in this way.

Part of the deal to build the Amway Center included constructing more courts in neighborhoods throughout Orlando. The team has greatly expanded its Jr. NBA program and of course its camps they conduct throughout the year — in the summer and during school breaks.

The Magic and the NBA have been pretty active even during this hiatus to provide some guidance for basketball and physical activity while the season is on break.

Jr. NBA has a ton of videos from NBA, WNBA and G-League players, coaches and alums to give you some drills to do at home while we are still practicing some social distancing.

D.J. Augustin did a Jr. NBA video teaching some simple ball-handling drills to do while everyone is in quarantine.

Mohamed Bamba also gave some ball-handling advice and drills to practice:

Lakeland Magic assistant coach Johnny Taylor taught the famous figure-8 ball-handling drill:

Horace Grant taught a good drill to teach good triple-threat position (it is quite a workout):

And Michael Carter-Williams conducted a full at-home workout that anyone can do with enough space and a basketball:

While NBA players are certainly happy to get back into their gyms and return to their work to get back into playing shape. Everyone is antsy to get back out and play basketball again. It is impossible not to at this point.

We are still practicing social distancing and most courts are still closed. People are still looking to avoid physical contact as much as possible, especially in the sports context.

That may not be as much of a concern for the pro players. But for children looking to get back on the courts, they are still waiting for the chance to play once again.

The NBA has done a good job of trying to keep young players involved with the game under the current physical guidelines. The Magic certainly seem to be doing their part too.

dark. Next. Orlando Magic need to rely on depth when they return

There may not be an Orlando Magic Basketball Camp this summer. But young players in Central Florida can still practice their game and learn from the Magic’s grassroots program.