fbpx
Favorites

© 2022 BVM Sports. Best Version Media, LLC.

Favorites

From Iceland’s capital, 11-year-old plays in Warriors camp

From Iceland’s capital, 11-year-old plays in Warriors camp
Virus Outbreak One Good Thing Iceland Hoops - AP Photo/Ben Margot

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Sporting his No. 30 Stephen Curry jersey, 11-year-old Bjarki Robertsson kept up the pace. He hopped on his right foot, then his left, joining in a drill as part of the Golden State Warriors’ basketball camp.

Like the 3-point shooting star he so admires, Robertsson certainly connected from long distance. He participated far from the San Francisco Bay Area — playing along from his father’s workplace, a small warehouse in Iceland’s capital city of Reykjavik.

The hoops-loving preteen had an advantage, too: His country has 24 hours of daylight right now, meaning he can attend camp and practice on his outdoor basket at home even with the seven-hour time difference.

“It’s amazing,” Robertsson said after a 75-minute session last week.

“He’s basically speechless,” added his mother, Maria.

“It’s unbelievable,” Warriors camp director Jeff Addiego said.

Former college player VeAnne Navarro led one station of the virtual workout, coaching from more than 4,000 miles away in Oakland. Robertsson confidently held his place in the group, which was the bottom left corner of a large video screen.

Chalk it up to another adjustment during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I love it, I love it,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “We’ve known for a long time how popular the NBA is and how popular basketball is and I suppose that popularity is sort of running along the same path as figuring out life.”

“Now we’ve got a kid doing basketball camp on Zoom from Iceland. I think that’s a really cool dynamic. I’m glad it worked out,” Kerr said.

Robertsson’s mom was on the email list for the summer camp and asked if her son could join. The Warriors made it happen.

“It’s amazing what they can do with the technology,” Maria said. “It’s an adventure and he really learned a lot.”

The Warriors also added a little something extra as a special surprise for him, an autographed Curry cap — and he collapsed into the couch in delight and disbelief.

“Basketball is his life,” his mom said.

Like many businesses forced to adapt because of the coronavirus, the Warriors had to get creative to make this all work.

The majority of campers have paid their way, signing up through the team’s academy website. There are some who received scholarship assistance.

Girls and boys 7-15 years old are taking part, and groups were kept small for the initial run-through of what will be at least six weeklong sessions. Each athlete also receives one 30-minute semi-private lesson with a coach.

“That’s why we kept it intimate,” Addiego said. “If that elbow’s not in, (the coach) can see it.”

The campers are all called by their first names. When a recent workout began to wrap up, Navarro eagerly exhorted her campers.

“Pounds for everybody!” she shouted.

Robertsson scurried in, giving a fist bump right up to the screen.

Ben Clarfield, Golden State’s manager of youth basketball, earlier hustled from station to station with a white piece of paper telling the coaches a special guest was about to join their screens: Golden State power forward Marquese Chriss.

The star-studded Warriors, despite an NBA-worst 15-50 season following five straight trips to the NBA Finals and three championships, are hugely popular worldwide.

“There are kids that would never get to take part in a GSW camp that now can feel like a part of it,” general manager Bob Myers said.

___

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

___

While nonstop news about the effects of the coronavirus has become commonplace, so, too, have tales of kindness. “One Good Thing” is a series of AP stories focusing on glimmers of joy and benevolence in a dark time. Read the series here: https://apnews.com/OneGoodThing

Get local sports news direct to your inbox

Originals

more
Bayliss Flynn makes history with NIL deal

Bayliss Flynn makes history with NIL deal

Bayliss Flynn made history in Minnesota by becoming the first high school athlete to sign…

Bengals RB Trayveon Williams to teach at Texas A&M

Bengals RB Trayveon Williams to teach at Texas A&M

Cincinnati Bengals running back Trayveon Williams will be a co-professor of a course for the…

Francesco Capocci brings helping attitude to UNC baseball

Francesco Capocci brings helping attitude to UNC baseball

Francesco Capocci grew up with North Carolina as his dream school. Now he is a…

A.J. Tisdell joins Badgers’ Class of 2023 recruiting class

A.J. Tisdell joins Badgers’ Class of 2023 recruiting class

A.J. Tisdell can shine in Wisconsin under Jim Leonhard.

Ajani Sheppard: From one year starter to Old Dominion commit

Ajani Sheppard: From one year starter to Old Dominion commit

Iona Preparatory quarterback Ajani Sheppard rose from no Division I offers to more than a…

Northwestern commit Tyler Gant fueled by success on and off field

Northwestern commit Tyler Gant fueled by success on and off field

Three-star Class of 2023 defensive lineman Tyler Gant will look to continue his athletic and…

Nathan Rourke off to record-setting start for BC Lions

Nathan Rourke off to record-setting start for BC Lions

Taking over as the starting quarterback of the BC Lions, former Ohio University standout Nathan…

Mitch Voit is living out a dream with Michigan baseball

Mitch Voit is living out a dream with Michigan baseball

Mitch Voit is about to live out his dream of being a Michigan Wolverine and…

Larissa Preuitt ready to represent ‘dream school’ Alabama

Larissa Preuitt ready to represent ‘dream school’ Alabama

Alabama's reigning Gatorade softball POY is ready to help the Crimson tide win their first…

GG Jackson ready to fill ‘big shoes’ at UNC as No. 1 recruit

GG Jackson ready to fill ‘big shoes’ at UNC as No. 1 recruit

GG Jackson’s athletic frame and winning mindset have made him the No. 1 player in…

Why QB Nico Iamaleava should be ranked over Arch Manning

Why QB Nico Iamaleava should be ranked over Arch Manning

Nico Iamaleava may not have the same name recognition as other quarterbacks in his class,…

Sam Kennedy is ready for Minnesota baseball

Sam Kennedy is ready for Minnesota baseball

Sam Kennedy is one of the best pitchers in the state of Minnesota and he…

Louisville commit Nick Drtina leads Nazareth to championship

Louisville commit Nick Drtina leads Nazareth to championship

Louisville commit Nick Drtina led a young and talented Nazareth Academy team to new heights…

Matthew Etzel’s DI dreams come true thanks to Panola

Matthew Etzel’s DI dreams come true thanks to Panola

Matthew Etzel’s dream of playing DI baseball is coming true.

Will Levis’ QB origin story to being a Kentucky Wildcat

Will Levis’ QB origin story to being a Kentucky Wildcat

Will Levis has become the face of the Kentucky football program and a potential first-round…

Atalyia Rijo bringing star-power to Arkansas softball

Atalyia Rijo bringing star-power to Arkansas softball

The top-ranked softball player in the state of New York and recent Gatorade Player of…

Isaac Howard excited for NHL Draft before UMD hockey debut

Isaac Howard excited for NHL Draft before UMD hockey debut

Isaac Howard has one stop at the 2022 NHL Draft before he heads to Duluth…

Brooks Lee brings San Luis Obispo pride to MLB Draft

Brooks Lee brings San Luis Obispo pride to MLB Draft

Brooks Lee has become a role model in his hometown of San Luis Obispo. With…

Arch Manning, No. 1 recruit in 2023 class, commits to Texas

Arch Manning, No. 1 recruit in 2023 class, commits to Texas

Arch Manning announced on Twitter that he will be continuing his football career at the…

Evan Chaffee making jump to Alabama, SEC baseball

Evan Chaffee making jump to Alabama, SEC baseball

Evan Chaffee's journey from Hamburg to becoming an Alabama baseball commit heavily involved Vanderbilt, an…