Team Heads To Asu Basketball Camp

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A contingent of eight Payson High School basketball players are heating up the nets at Wells Fargo Arena on the campus of Arizona State University in Tempe.

The teens attending the Herb Sendek Basketball Camp include Oliver Lewinson, Robert Walker, Cody York, Brandon Alexander, Troy Brown, Levi Neal, Chase Sevey and Zack Blazer.

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Brandan Alexander was among the PHS athletes who showed up for early morning basketball workouts.

First year Longhorn basketball coach Kenny Hayes accompanies the players at the camp.

Training sessions began yesterday, Thursday and will wrap up Sunday.

During the course of the camp, the PHS summer team will play about eight regulation games against other schools participating in the hardwood shoot out.

"It will be a good experience for us," Hayes said. "We will play some very good teams from around the country."

Sendek, the second-year Arizona State University coach who formerly coached at North Carolina State, sponsors the camp.

While at NCS, he took the team to five consecutive NCAA tournament appearances and won more than 250 games in 13 seasons.

While attending the camp, the Payson players will also have the opportunity to learn from Sendek's staff of veteran coaches, several with high school experience.

Camp coaches include Mark Phelps, Scott Pera, Mike Gibson, Archie Miller and Dedrique Taylor.

Phelps, an ASU assistant head coach, was on Sendek's staff at North Carolina Staff and is a former coach at Atlantic Shores Christian High School in Chesapeake, Va.

Pera is ASU's Director of Basketball Operations. In an 11-year career at two California High Schools, he posted a 258-65 record and was the Los Angeles Times and Long Beach Telegram Coach of the Year in 2003 and 2006.

Gibson, a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, is the camp director. He formerly was on Tom Izzo's staff at Michigan State.

Miller was a letter winner at NC State from 1998 to 2002. He entered coaching immediately after graduation.

During his playing career, he played point guard and was known as an accurate long-range shooter. His 218 three-pointers for his career rank him second in NC State history.

Taylor joined Sendek's staff last season as an assistant coach, after serving two years as an assistant at Nevada.

Taylor starred as a player at UC Davis, then played professionally overseas for two years.

In Flagstaff

In addition to attending the Arizona State camp, the Longhorn summer basketball players have participated in tournaments at Flagstaff High School and Northern Arizona University.

At Flagstaff June 8 and 9, the team finished with a 3-2 record, competing against 4A and 5A teams.

"We played pretty well," Hayes said.

During the NAU-hosted camp, June 15-17, the team stumbled to a 2-3 record.

"I think the travel got to us," Hayes said. "We were driving back and forth (to Flagstaff) each day, beginning at 6 a.m."

During both tournaments, the team had limited participation from the 6-foot, 8-inch Lewinson, who had family responsibilities.

Next season, Lewinson is projected to be one of the best "big men" in the 3A conference.

During the 2006-2007 season, Lewinson was far and away the East region's defensive star, blocking 83 shots from his position down low, where he continually denied opponents' lay-ups, put backs and short jumpers.

Offensively, Lewinson was the team's leading scorer, averaging 16.6 ppg, which was second in the East.

Lewinson was also the team and region rebounding leader, with 316.

This summer, Lewinson is honing his skills with a Valley-based club basketball team.

Summer training

Also on the off-season agenda is open gym for all players from 5 to 7 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays in Wilson Dome.

Weightlifting sessions are held 6 to 9 a.m. Monday through Thursdays.

Old PHS gym is also open during those hours for free shooting and training.

Most of the past week, a contingent of about 10 players showed up for the morning sessions.

For more information about summer basketball, call Hayes at (928) 474-2233.

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