DeMarre Carroll brings Junkyard Dog mindset to basketball camp
COLUMBIA - Former Missouri basketball player DeMarre Carroll describes his basketball camp as "gritty" and "grimy," which is fitting considering his nickname is "The Junkyard Dog."
"You gonna get sweaty, you gonna get dirty, you gonna get some bumps and bruises. That's the type of camp I want, and that's the type of camp these kids need to get to the next level they need to get to," Carroll said.
The Toronto Raptors forward brought his "gritty and grimy" basketball camp to Columbia kids on Monday at Tolton Catholic High School.
"We really pay attention to the kids," Carroll said. "We try to split them up in a lot of stations, do a lot of one-on-one things, and I feel like that's the difference."
Assistant coaches for the camp include former Missouri Tiger Mike Anderson Jr., Columbia College guard Pep Stanciel and Carroll's brother DeAndre Carroll.
"All of these different coaches bring a different aspect, especially things I've learned myself going from Alabama, going from Atlanta, going to Arkansas for basketball camps, etc," Carroll said. "I feel like all these coaches bring different things to this camp, and I feel like it's gonna help these kids get better."
Carroll makes it a point to come back to Columbia for his basketball camp every year.
"Most guys in the NBA, they go to camps every so often. But I come everyday and I show up," Carroll said.
Camp assistant coach Michael Jackson said people take notice of Carroll's presence at his camp.
"He plays in the NBA so [he doesn't] really have a lot of free time," Jackson said. "He's willing to put his time in, come back year after year for the community."
Jackson said Carroll's efforts to grow the Columbia basketball community go further than just his camps.
"He's sponsoring an AAU team here to get basketball going even bigger here in Columbia, so he's dedicating his money and time to get that going," Jackson said.
According to Carroll, he will expand his AAU team "Team Carroll" from one Columbia team to three teams in the future.
He said the Columbia community makes him feel at home whenever he visits, which is why he gives back to it.
"I'm a Mizzou alumni, and I bleed gold and black, and I always try to come back because this is my home," Carroll said. "This is my home away from home, so I feel like every time I come back people are welcoming me with open arms."