ypically, Michael Leitzman and Greg Kilgore work with 15 to 20 kids within their varsity basketball programs.
In July, the two helped coach 200 kids with two University of Kentucky superstars.
Leitzman and Kilgore recently joined 22 other coaches to help put on the Kroger Unplug and Play John Calipari Basketball ProCamp at HOOPS, in Louisville, Kentucky.
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Former Wildcats Karl-Anthony Towns and Aaron Harrison were in attendance for the event.
Towns was the first overall pick by the Minnesota Timberwolves, and Harrison went undrafted in the 2015 NBA Draft but recently signed with the Charlotte Hornets.
The camp, which went two days with kids ages 6 to 18 years old, focused on building basketball skills and character.
For Leitzman, second-year head coach at Medora, the camp was an opportunity to learn from coaches across Kentucky and southern Indiana.
“One of the main reasons I did it was because I’m so young,” Leitzman, 23, said. “There were coaches there that have been doing it for a while. I listened to every coach that volunteered and took notes. I have a lot of new drills I want to try out with our guys at Medora. It was a huge opportunity and learning experience.”
At the camp, the kids worked at various stations.
Kilgore, Crothersville’s head coach, worked pivot and passing while Leitzman focused on defense.
“We worked on chest and bounce passes, both stationary and on the move,” Kilgore said. “Under the basket, we worked on positioning and backing up in the post.”
For Leitzman, working defense was the preferred station.
“I love defense, so I thought it was pretty neat that I got to chance to work on it with the kids there,” Leitzman said. “We emphasized pinch and recover, help-side defenses and trusting your teammates. The beauty of three-on-three, you have to play defense. Sometimes on five-on-five it’s a crowd and you can lay off.”
The camp provided a fresh coaching perspective for Kilgore.
“It gets you around other coaches and see other drills,” Kilgore said. “I think some coaches are a little conceited with the way they do things, but most of us have picked up things from other people and tweaked it.”
Towns and Harrison arrived to the camp on different days.
“The first day it was Aaron Harrison; he played with the kids and took some questions,” Leitzman said. “On Friday, it was Karl-Anthony Towns. He was great with the kids. He answered questions for about an hour, even a handful of questions about Wisconsin (who Kentucky lost to in the Final Four).”
Both athletes played with the kids during the camp.
“It was kind of crazy,” Kilgore said. “I think it had a lot of structure with it that worked well. Towns interacted really well. It kind of surprised me, as an NBA first-round draft pick, that he was so involved with the kids.”
Kilgore, a huge Wildcats fan, took chance of the opportunity from the moment he got the email.
“Being a Kentucky fan, I responded pretty quick,” Kilgore said. “It was a really good opportunity to be around some of those guys and working with 200 kids from southern Indiana and the Louisville area.”