Former Kansas All-American Thomas Robinson is bringing an elite basketball experience for children ages 9-17 to the Sunflower State later this month.
Through his new camp, dubbed The Thomas Robinson Beyond Basketball Performance Program, the former KU forward plans to introduce young athletes in the area to all aspects of the game, from education and nutrition to drill work and film study.
The three-day camp will take place Sept. 18-20 at SportsPlex in Olathe, and Robinson hopes to make it an annual event.
“Our foundation already has these things in Philly and D.C.,” Robinson told the Journal-World on Tuesday of the F.O.E. Foundation he co-founded with former KU teammates Marcus and Markieff Morris. “And I’m just trying to tie together all of the things that are connected to me. I just want to make an impact in all of those areas, and Kansas is definitely a part of me.”
The cost is $200 per camper and the camp will have two sessions, with the younger kids filling one session and the older group working together on their own. Food and camp apparel will be included in the cost.
Robinson, who played five seasons in the NBA after being the No. 5 overall pick of Sacramento in 2012, will have a few former Jayhawks on hand to help educate the campers in all aspects of basketball and life, and he’s also bringing in top NBA trainer Chris Johnson and some of his staff to help take the kids through combine-style agility testing.
Johnson has worked with LeBron James, Ben Simmons, Dwyane Wade, Donovan Mitchell, Andrew Wiggins and dozens of other notable players during his career.
As the name suggests, the camp will strive to teach the young athletes about more than just basketball. For example, Robinson said Tyrel Reed and Conner Teahan will talk to the campers about their careers in medicine and finance just as much as they will talk to them about the proper form on a jump shot.
“We have them speaking with the kids just to show them that there’s other outlets besides basketball,” Robinson said. “We’re just trying to give like more of a school-type basketball camp because we really want to build these guys up.”
The camp was partially influenced by KU coach Bill Self’s annual fantasy camp in that it aims to offer its participants the entire experience, from training and watching film to playing and bonding with teammates.
Robinson said the goal of the camp is to create an elite training environment that helps players and parents develop athletes who have a chance to play at the highest levels of the game.
“This camp is an investment in your child’s development,” Robinson said. “So for the parents who feel their kids have a real love of the game, we want to teach them everything they need to know about how to succeed in basketball. We’re going to take their game to another level — guaranteed.”
According to the page, “all participants will receive a camp safety package that will include a mask, temperature check devices along with other items that ensure proper safety measures are taken at this event. A COVID station will be on site where our licensed nurses will be screening participants before and in between court sessions to maximize our safety efforts. Refunds will be honored for COVID-19 related issues.”