Devin Booker assists Suns’ teammate Chris Paul at Chris Paul’s Elite Guard Camp this past weekend in Los Angeles.
The CP3 Elite Guard Camp is an invitation-only camp for the top 24 lead guards in the nation. A dozen high school players and a dozen college players joined Chris Paul and Devin Booker in various drills, pickup games and much more.
A small group of NBA players act as instructors during Paul’s camp. The 2022 camp included DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Gay, Coby White, Josh Christopher, Davon Reed, Jannero Pargo and Jared Butler.
Chris Paul has committed time and resources into this camp in hopes of helping young guards achieve their goals. Some notable alumni include Stephen Curry, Isaiah Thomas, Kemba Walker, Seth Curry and Marcus Smart, to name a few.
Some of the notable high school guards at CP3’s camp included Jared McCain, AJ Johnson, Caleb Foster, Layden Blocker and Kanaan Carlye. Freshman Keyonte George, Baylor, sophomore Nolan Hickman, Gonzaga, redshirt junior Dajuan Harris Jr., Kansas, freshman Anthony Black, Arkansas, and senior Marcus Sasser, Houston, headline the college guards.
Chris Paul and Devin Booker used this camp as an opportunity to show campers the disparity between the NBA and any other league around the world. Campers and NBA instructors witnessed the duo’s skill set during the camp’s open run.
Devin Booker’s summer work was on full display. Booker showed his improved back to the basket game, hitting post moves on the block and from mid-range. His pull-up triple was unguardable, proven by his step-back corner three for game during one of the open runs.
Chris Paul tells Booker, “we’ll take one if we have too, ” as Booker sizes up his defender. Booker responds, “alright, I want two though three,” proceeding to hit a step-back three on Indiana freshman Jalen Hood-Schifino for the game.
Following the scrimmages, Paul thanked the NBA instructors for their continuous dedication to the game of basketball. Paul then spoke with campers to discuss the importance and meaning of loving the game.
“Some people like to play. Some people like the money, jewelry, cars, all the stuff that come with it. But some people love it. He’s one of them that loves it,” Paul said. “42. 42! He here coaching camp and he out here hooping. He ain’t got no trainers, he ain’t stretching doing all of that, he just love to hoop man.”
Jannero Pargo is a former NBA player and camp instructor who last played in 2014. The Indiana Pacers assistant coach is a prime example of what it means to truly love the game.
Chris Paul also touches on the importance of veteran leadership through Miami Heat legend Udonis Haslem.
“Y’all saw that stuff with Udonis Haslem. Yall heard everybody talking crazy about him, like why he on the team. Man, I’m probably his biggest fan,” Paul stated. “You wanna know why? Because young guys need vets. You need somebody like UD showing up everyday. If practice at 11. He probably in the gym 8-8:30 everyday. To motivate guys, to push guys.”
Paul, 37, plays a similar role to Haslem’s on the Suns. Veteran leadership is needed in order to instill the younger generation with the importance of loving the game. Veterans are primary examples of professionalism and success in the NBA.
“Keep playing, keep learning, keep having that passion, keep working,” Paul stated. The surefire Naismith Hall of Fame entrant hopes that his resume and knowledge will mold promising young talent into true professionals.