BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Following the 2018-19 season, the Cal State Bakersfield men's basketball team is dishing their basketball knowledge to the next generation of ballers hosting four camps this summer at the Icardo Center.
Young players get a chance to learn from Head Coach Rod Barnes and current and former roadrunners.
"It’s really crazy because these kids look up to you, they want to be like you and tell you how you’re their favorite player and it warms you to do better as a person first," rising junior forward Taze Moore said.
Giving these players a chance to pay it forward after spending time at camps when they were growing up. And it's been a humbling experience for Bakersfield native, Justin McCall.
"To be able to play here in Bakersfield and then on top of that I have this opportunity right here to give the knowledge of what I know of the game back to the kids that are in my own community, that’s pretty special as well," McCall said.
From kindergarten to high school, all ages and skill types have been welcomed onto the blue court, showing up for four straight days and showing out with that free from school energy.
"It’s fun but it’s so draining," Moore said with a smile. "You have to give it back to them, I mean, they’re not coming in here moping and upset, they’re coming in here full of energy ready to play.”
And the 'Runners give their best Rod Barnes impersonation as both a coach and referee. Maybe enjoying the control of the whistle too much.
With a laugh, McCall shares, "We just trying to make the right calls because you know with kids if you just let them go back and forth, stuff might get a little chippy.”
And these players turned coaches are learning things, too.
"Crazy dribbling, crazy passes, crazy shots, I might have to incorporate something into my game one day," McCall said.
"Taught me a few dance moves, but that’s it," Moore also says with a laugh.
CSUB is offering three more camps with two during this month and one in July. Four-day individual camp from June 10-13, as well as a three-day team camp, June 14-16. And then another individual camp for children in kindergarten through sixth grade, July 8-11. Plenty of time for young players to see what it takes to keep up with the 'Runners.
"If you got a kid out there and you really want them to get up and get active, you can send them here to camp, we gonna put them to work," Moore said.