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The Stars Come Out for D’Angelo Russell Basketball Camp

Karl Anthony-Towns and Jarrod Vanderbilt joke with D'Angelo Russell during his camp.
Karl Anthony-Towns and Jarrod Vanderbilt joke with D'Angelo Russell during his camp.(Kendrick Haskins)
Published: Jul. 16, 2021 at 4:34 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - NBA star, D’Angelo Russell is back home doing what many professional athletes from Louisville did before him. Teach the game of basketball to the next generation. “I remember what guys like Rondo would say to me, and those coaches that were big time coaches that were in here. I remember what they were saying to me. I just try to give these guys some words of encouragement. Something they can take with them,” said Russell.

Russell’s not alone in this venture. His brother Antonio helped organize it, and guys like Indiana Pacers forward, Caris LeVert have volunteered their time. “To be honest man, D’Angelo is one of the best teammates I’ve ever had. Me and D’Angelo are super close off the court. So, whatever he’s doing I’m going to support. He asked me to come. I was going to come regardless to be honest with you,” said LeVert. LeVert and Russell were teammates at Brooklyn, but even Russell’s current teammates made the trip to Louisville, including former UK star, Karl Anthony-Towns. “It’s important to show love and to show support, and just the amazing legacy he’s leaving here in the Louisville community and the Kentucky community by giving back to the kids,” said Anthony-Towns.

For the campers, it’s a chance to learn the game of basketball from some of their on the court heroes.
“It’s pretty cool. He’s my favorite player, so, hanging around D’Angelo is really fun, and he’s a really cool guy too,” commented camp participant Ashton McKee.

At these camps there’s always a competition between the participants and the coaches. Well on this day, former Card, Ryan McMahon found himself in the stiffest competition he’s probably had since he left UofL. Cole Edelen is a local eight grader who Russell describes as the best shooter in the city. “I mean, everybody in here knows. It’s about exposure. You know, we try to get guys like that exposure,” said Russell who’s known Edelen practically his whole life. After missing his first few attempts, Cole would drain 20 three’s in-a-row! “It’s really cool to have the whole camp going crazy. It’s a really surreal moment that not a lot of people get to have,” said Edelen afterwards. McMahon couldn’t help but to feel like he was set up. “When he missed his first three, then didn’t miss for like 20 in a row, I was like yo, I just walked in here. You guys set me up bad,” joked McMahon.

McMahon still being the competitor, was able to drain a three at the buzzer to beat Edelen by one shot, 21-20. “If I would’ve got a warm up shot I think I would’ve won, but he’s really good,” Edelen said after barely losing to a player he looks up to. It’s times like these that every one of these players will remember forever.

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