Nike's New Summer Camp Plan

The shoe companies catch a lot of heat for their summer camps. As the reasoning goes, they take time that could go towards actual skill development, or becoming well-rounded young people, and instead use it for kids to showboat for scouts while getting accustomed to handouts, coddling, me-first basketball, and the ugly spectacle of would-be role models engaged in bloodthirsty recruiting.

Adidas made some hay recently by saying they were getting out of the game. There has been speculation that the other shoe companies might follow suit. Andy Katz of ESPN is hearing that Nike is still batting around different ideas:

According to multiple sources, Nike will replace its All-American camp with four skill-development camps during the recruiting dead period in June before culminating with an all-star camp, appropriately named the LeBron James camp, in Akron, Ohio.

Multiple sources told ESPN.com that Nike will run four camps with 20 players going to each of the Kobe Bryant shooting guard camp (Los Angeles), the Steve Nash point guard camp (New York-New Jersey area), the Vince Carter forward camp (New York-New Jersey) and the Amare Stoudemire big man camp (Phoenix).

The 80 will then convene in Akron for the LeBron James all-star camp for the beginning of the recruiting evaluation period from July 8-10. That way, it doesn't conflict with the team camp events like the Nike-sponsored Peach Jam July 11 in Augusta. There is also talk of a Nike-sponsored global games type of event at the end of August in Oregon at the company's headquarters. Sources said Nike informed some of its organizers and coaches this week. A formal announcement is expected from Nike this week.

Katz also reports that, for the time being, Reebok-backed Sonny Vaccaro still plans to hold his ABCD camp in New Jersey. And, in an interesting twist, Katz says he's hearing players would be invited to the Nike skills camp regardless of shoe company affiliation. By the way, that LeBron James Nike Camp in Akron? Hard for me to believe William Wesley won't have something to do with that.