Youth basketball

Robbie Hummel Camp returns to The Fieldhouse

2014-06-17T17:00:00Z 2014-06-19T20:12:30Z Robbie Hummel Camp returns to The FieldhouseJim Peters, (219) 548-4363

MERRILLVILLE | When Adler Hazlett was 4 or 5, he began following Robbie Hummel's career at Purdue. A few years later, the Valparaiso boy had the Boilermakers' roster memorized.

Tuesday at The Fieldhouse, Hazlett, now 10, shared the court with three of them -- Hummel, Lewis Jackson and D.J. Byrd at the Hummel's Basketball Skills Camp.

"Nowadays, video games are so prevalent, there's so much to do, kids don't have the chance to play as much as we did 10, 15 years ago," Hummel said. "To go out and teach them the game, it's awesome. It's really a fun thing to do. The kids are really good. Hopefully, we can do it for a long time."

About 170 kids in grades K-9 attended the camp, with a two-hour morning session for the younger campers and another in the afternoon for the older ones.

"It's cool to play with an NBA player," said 10-year old Jake Cooper of Valpo, who attended with his brother Drew, 7.

Like Hazlett with his younger brother Caleb, Cooper came to the camp with his sibling, 6-year old Drew.

"I'm a big Robbie Hummel fan," Drew Cooper said. "I like Purdue. My favorite sport is basketball. I've always wanted to learn how to make a layup."

That'll be one of many skills he will take away from the four-day event. Participants rotate from station to station, where they learn from one of the players or coaches working the camp.

"We're letting the kids play more," director Adam Tatalovich said. "We put a player or coach on the court with them to faciliate movement. It's a family atmosphere."

The staff includes 10 current or former collegians, including Hummel's cousins Dan and Ronnie Kornbaum from NCAA Division III Augsburg (Minn.) College.

"It's cool to have (them) back," Hummel said. "They're big Timberwolves fans."

The list also features three Division I team managers, a former prep coach (Renee Turpa), college coach (Jason Hawkins) and pro coach (Tatalovich). Four of the group are now playing professionally.

"People are paying their hard-earned money, it's important to have guys who really know the game," Hummel said.

Former Northwestern star John Shurna is expected to attend today with E'Twaun Moore, Hummel's ex-Purdue running mate, also a possibility.

"It's good to see old friends, guys I played with and against," Hummel said. "I played against Eric Speer (the JV coach at Lake Central) since fourth, fifth grade in AAU. I grew up going to camps, high school, Valpo (University). I always loved to go. I looked forward to it every summer."

The camp remains a family activity for the Hummels, with parents Glenn and Linda and brother Dan involved.

Since the end of the NBA regular season, Hummel has enjoyed some down time, getting in some golf and catching up with friends while living in Chicago. He's keeping his basketball sharp by working out with Luke Harangody (Andrean) and members of agent Mark Bartelstein's promising rookie class, notably Nik Stauskas and Adreian Payne. Hummel is a free agent of July 1.

"I'd love to go back to Minnesota, but I'm going to consider all my options," Hummel said. "It's not something I'm going to worry about. It's in my agent's hands and he's one of the best in the business."

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