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Guest Of A King For Classic Court Appearance
Anytime a person is helping the youth and assisting the next generation by giving back, that registers as a good thing. Then there are those special people who get entertained and enlightened during that process, making that good deed feel even more like a blessing and that was the case for Riverbank head basketball coach Jeff Jennings during his third tour assisting NBA star LeBron James' basketball camp.

Jennings was fortunate enough to make the trip to southern California and lend a helping hand to James and his handpicked tournament staff in assisting young players from the grade school age to pre-NBA college players learn from one of the best players on earth.

"It started back when I worked the Michael Jordan camp in Santa Barbara," Jennings said. "Chris Gonzalez, one of my best friends and he also played for me, he had worked it, so he got me into that one.

"And then in the second year of the LeBron camp they invited me to work that one."

The camp is named the King's Academy and their primary focus is helping young kids learn the right way to approach the game and help develop the collegiate players' game to the professional level.

Jennings is no stranger to the camp and its limelight, finishing his third tour of duty associated with King's Academy and his first session in one of the country's more beautiful areas.

"For the last two years I flew out to Ohio to his hometown in Akron," Jennings said. "And then they moved the camp this year to San Diego.

"It was a lot shorter flight this year than the previous two."

Jennings worked on the camps' youth scene, helping all the kids who simply want to improve their basketball game. Another portion of the camp was devoted to arguably the best college players in the country. Not only do they get to compete with and alongside LeBron James, but the aspiring pros get to see how the NBA superstar approaches the game.

"They hire an NBA guy to come in and work out the college guys," Jennings said of the camp's structure. "And then at night, LeBron and those guys play and that is always nice to see and be able to intermingle with those guys."

Jennings has used the time he's spent at the camp to help guide and transition his program, yet the top aspect of being involved with King's Academy has not changed at all.

"It's being there with LeBron," Jennings said of the camp's consistent highlight. "You're standing there right next to the NBA league MVP and you know, that's pretty cool. Plus you get a lot of the celebrities on the scene because their kids are in the camp."

Jennings got to see people like hip-hop artist Eve, two-time World Series winner David Justice and Cleveland Cavaliers starting point guard Mo Williams.

The Riverbank Bruins have clearly taken strides in the right direction over the past few seasons under Jennings' guidance and will look to push the program to new heights again this year. Jennings will embrace the opportunity to help his Riverbank players with some of the tricks of the trade he was able to witness from 'King James.'

"Probably the biggest thing I could give from the camp," Jennings said on relaying input, "is from just watching LeBron and how he goes about things. Not even necessarily when he plays, but just watching his workouts and how hard he works.

"There is no playing around, he is working on things that are obviously going to make him better next year."

James has made a name for himself in the NBA and embraced his role as a superstar, yet that has not affected the effort and attitude that he gives to his camp and its members.

"I hear a lot about the NBA guys that show up for a period and take a few pictures, give a talk and they're gone," Jennings said. "He's there. He's watching the drills; he's in the mix. LeBron is very image conscious; if it's got his name on it he wants it to be a good product.

"It's his camp and he's very hands on."