Hawks’ point gaurd Jeff Teague spends time with one of the campers during last week’s academy.
SUWANEE -- The Atlanta Hawks, looking for an ideal place for the Jeff Teague Elite Skills Academy, found one this week at Suwanee Sports Academy.
The local facility hosted 45 participants the week before Gwinnett County Public Schools students returned to the classroom, and the youngsters worked speed, agility and professional skill development directly from Teague, a point guard for the NBA team, and other Atlanta Hawks basketball development team members.
"It's a lot of fun," Teague said. "Growing up I went to camp so I always wanted to come out here and be able to relate to the kids, have fun with it, let them know that we're human, 'You can touch us. You can talk to us.'"
Each drill at the camp lasted 12 minutes, the same length as a quarter of an NBA game, so it was only natural that there were four stations where kids honed their skills.
Teague spent most of his time at the one-on-one station, which he says he enjoys the most.
"Everybody loves to play one-on-one and show off their skills," Teague said. "I love to see the competition in the kids, and see how competitive they are."
Kendall Dougherty, a camp participant from Alpharetta, agreed with the Hawks star.
"The one-on-one drill (is my favorite)," she said, "It's the most like basketball."
At his drill, the Hawks guard observed as he passed kids the ball from his familiar spot at the top of the key. Teague even got involved on his own behalf taking turns on offense and defense against the wide-eyed kids.
"I wasn't trying to think, just trying not to think," said Kallen Ellis of Forsyth. "I scored on (Teague) with a crossover move. That was cool."
When the buzzer sounded, Teague led the group in a breakdown as the kids unanimously chanted, "Hawks!" before heading onto their next station.
After the fourth 12-minute buzzer sounded, it was time for lunch, but not before a group photo with their coaches, including the most recognizable in Teague.
A booming "Yeah!" resonated through the building when the campers were asked if they were having fun before they took to their lunch break.
In addition to practicing the fundamentals, camp participants also received Atlanta Hawks Elite Skills Academy Jeff Teague gear, which includes a Hawks jersey and headband as well as a ticket to an upcoming 2012-2013 regular season Hawks home game.
This week's camp and others are part of the Atlanta Hawks Basketball Development Team's summer camps presented by Philips. For more information about upcoming camps head online to www.hawks.com/youthbasketball.