Every summer, Metro hosts men’s high school basketball camps at the Auraria Event Center. The Metro State Team Camp brings together teams from nearby states, where players not only get tips on how to improve their game, but also participate in one of the best basketball tournaments in the state.
“Every year, the best teams in Colorado always make it a point to come to Metro the first weekend of June,” Metro assistant basketball coach Tyler Harris said. “We take a lot of pride in running one of the best team tournaments in the state.”
Senior forward/center Jonathan Morse was one of the Metro players at the camp. He shared his experience with the campers and his own piece of advice.
“You don’t get better sitting on the couch at home,” Morse said.
The varsity camp on June 1 was the destination for about 160 squads from Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska and New Mexico, each competing against non-conference opponents in tournament play.
The summer camps at Metro bring exposure to the university’s basketball program by allowing prospective recruits to meet current
Roadrunner players and see what the facilities are like.
The scale of the camp allows for coaches to network and teach the players
how to raise their game.
“We are building relationships,” Fountain-Fort Carson high school head basketball coach Greg Williams said. “It’s definitely a privilege and a great opportunity to play in this tournament. I appreciate that it is well run, and the officiating is really good.”
Although some of the athletes who attended the camp tournament may be recruited to play college sports, others are more likely to enroll as a student at one of the three colleges on Auraria.
“There are about 10 percent of the kids here who will end up coming to Metro, not for basketball, but to be a student,” Harris said. “About 30 to 40 percent of our teams are from outside of Denver. You talk to some of the coaches, some of these kids have never been to downtown before.”
Morse thinks the experience of the basketball camp will inspire young people to choose Metro as a place to play college ball.
“A lot of these kids are having fun playing ball,” Morse said. “It gives experience to those who are considering college basketball, and this is very important for them to have the chance to have that feeling of playing good competition in tournament style.”