PARKER, Colo. -- A summertime tradition is underway in Parker this week. Chauncey Billups is hosting his annual basketball academy.
This year, the NBA star brought some big names with him. Chauncey’s L.A. Clippers teammates, Blake Griffin and D’Andre Jordan are in town to inspire the kids.
“This is my first time being involved in Chauncey’s camp and I’m really excited about it," D’Andre said. "I just hope I can keep up.”
"It’s very exciting, always exciting to come see the young kids, the young basketball players of the future, just be around them, help them, just have fun,” Griffin said.
Having fun is the name of the game here, along with learning some basketball fundamentals.
“Our camp not only offers basketball, it offers speed and agility training. We’re able to play games and do skill development, fundamentals," Camp director, Marcus Mason said, "The kids just get to have fun.”
Billups started the camp four years ago.
“I enjoy it. I remember it as a kid -- that’s really why I do it. I had so much fun growing up in camp," Billups said. "I just want to give kids an opportunity to feel what I felt.”
He also said he expects to see some special kids emerge from camp.
One of those exceptionally talented kids is Jackie Johnson. He won an essay contest sponsored by DISH Network in order to be here.
He and his parents traveled from Witchita, Kas. to take part in Chauncey’s camp.
“It’s cool," Jackie said. "Seeing them in real life, it’s just different. I mean it’s just fun.”
Jackie said he plays basketball every single day.
“It’s a good sport. I just like it -- try to get better every day,” Jackie said.
His mother, Denise Johnson beamed as she watched her son from the stands.
“He eats sleeps breathes basketball," Johnson said. "One day we got up and he said 'Momma, my destiny is to play in the NBA.' I said 'Momma’s job is to help you get there.'”
Johnson said Jackie winning the essay contest was "a dream of a lifetime."
"It’s just a blessing to be here. I’m so excited because he’s so excited," Johnson said. 'It's every mother’s dream to see your baby happy.”
It was smiles all around as the kids got autographs from the players, and tips from the coaches.
And Jackie Johnson was thrilled, even though his favorite player, LeBron James, wasn’t there.
With Chauncey’s reputation, and the growth of his camp, you never know who may he may get to show up next year!