Kenny Smith Launches Virtual Basketball Camp with Pros

July 8, 2020 / From the BenchWinning Hoops
Former NBA champion and current TNT NBA analyst Kenny “The Jet” Smith is stepping up to offer a virtual training setting for young hoopers.

According to an article on NBC Sports Chicago, Smith is launching the Jet Academy, a virtual basketball camp staffed by the highest-level basketball players in the world to help kids train while maintaining social distancing parameters amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some of the world-class instructors include Boston Celtics guard Kemba Walker, former WNBA champions Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird, Phoenix Mercury forward Brittney Griner, Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo, Seattle Storm forward Breanna Stewart, and Atlanta Hawks rookie Trae Young. Among those seven players, they have combined for 35 all-star appearances and two Most Valuable Player awards.

Photo: Chip Griffin / Creative Commons

“I was sitting at home and social distancing and quarantine, and my kids typically go to basketball camps,” Smith told Jason Goff on the latest Bulls Talk Podcast. “They can’t go to camps anymore, I can’t do my basketball camp in North Carolina, I had 700 kids. And I just noticed it was a need in the world that was going on, and I said I’m going to create — and I created — the first virtual basketball camp for kids and adults and anybody who plays the game, virtually. And you can do it from anywhere, any time, on any device, with anyone.”

The camp begins on July 20 and will feature live, daily, two-hour video sessions with instructors that campers can follow along remotely, the article read. Additionally, those who partake in the camp have the ability to text the pros questions and send them video to critique and receive answers within 48 hours.

“I was talking to Kemba, I was like, ‘OK, Kemba, so this is what we need to do in the camp’ and he’s like, ‘OK, what are the drills you want to do?’” Smith said on the podcast. “I said, ‘No, no, no. Trae, Kemba, I want you to do the drills that you do to get ready. I want to see how you got your jumper like that. That’s what I would want to see. ‘Kemba, show me the pullback.’ He said, ‘Alright, I’ll show you the pullback.’ I said, ‘No, but then you gotta tell us why you use it and when you use it.’ That’s what a trainer at times can’t give you.”

» ALSO SEE: Marquette Shooting Drill

Smith played for six teams in his 10-year career from 1987 to 1997. He was the point guard on the back-to-back NBA champion Houston Rockets in 1993-94 and 1994-95.

To read the full story from NBC Sports Chicago on the launching of his virtual Jet Academy, click here