Bazz back in CT


Former UConn guard Shabazz Napier talks to one of his campers Monday.

Sorry for the delay. I went to see Shabazz Napier at the youth camp that bears his name on Monday.

The story is in today’s Journal Inquirer, but here’s the short version if you need it:

— NAPIER SAYS HIS rather rough performance in the Summer League was due to fatigue.

“The reason why I didn’t play so well in the Summer League was because my body was just tired. I made it to the last game (national championship game) and that puts a toll on your body. Then going to work out, I didn’t have a lot of time to relax,” Napier said.

Napier’s in Connecticut this week for a camp in South Windsor as well as a pair of clinics for All Pro Sports, the company run by Tim Leahy.

— AT LEAST ONE of the campers (there are 100 kids aged 8-16 at Nomad’s Adventure Quest) had a No. 13 Miami Heat jersey with Napier’s name on it.

“To see kids wearing jerseys that represent myself, be it a Miami jersey or UConn, that’s special to me,” Napier said.

— ALTHOUGH HE SORT of courted Napier to the Heat, LeBron James is of course gone to Cleveland.

James mentioned on his Twitter account how much he liked Napier’s play during the NCAA Tournament and re-iterated those thoughts on draft day via the same social medium.

Napier’s not crying foul, though. At least not publicly.

“I don’t worry about that. I just worry about me and play basketball,” Napier said.

— HIS SHOT MAY not have been falling in Orlando or Vegas but the Summer League effort was hardly a waste for Napier.

“I didn’t play good, my stats weren’t good, but it went well. I learned a lot,” Napier said.

“Great guys, great staff,” Napier continued, talking about his new employers and teammates. “I just tried to be a sponge. I’m trying to learn as much about the schemes as fast as I can. That’s what you have to do in the beginning.”

— NAPIER SAYS HE isn’t sure if he’ll be at former UConn coach Jim Calhoun’s all-star game next Friday.

“I’m not sure yet. I have a busy schedule,” Napier said.

— FOR NOW, Napier is having a whale of a time with some area youths.

“It’s super fun,” Napier said. “I was one of these kids not to long ago.”

— NAPIER ON UCONN in 2014-15:

“They’ve got some good pieces. There’s always some good pieces at UConn and they’ve got great coaches around them,” Napier said. “The sky’s the limit for them.”

Napier on Rodney Purvis: “He’s strong. He’s a tank.”

Napier on Ryan Boatright’s decision to return:

“I wouldn’t say I’m glad. Any decision he would have made, I’d be behind him 100 percent,” Napier said. “But he made the right decision for him and his family. He took some time to realize what he wanted to do.”



About Neill

Neill Ostrout covers the UConn men's basketball team for the Journal Inquirer in Manchester. He has been a member of the "Horde" for more than 16 years.
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