As head coach of the Division III state runner-up Incline boys basketball team, Tim Kelly is accustomed to quality basketball. But not quite like he witnessed at the adidas Unrivaled Camp in Chicago last week.
“It was an amazing experience,” Kelly said of the elite recruiting camp. “It was one of those things where you learn a lot as a coach, and then you get to work with kids who will end up playing in the NBA. It was just a phenomenal opportunity to work with those kids.”
The adidas Unrivaled Camp featured 100 of the best high school players in the country showcasing their skills in front of more than 200 colleges coaches. Some of the biggest-name coaches in college basketball were on hand, including Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, North Carolina’s Roy Williams and Louisville’s Rick Pitino, among others.
Kelly’s participation was made possible through fellow coach and mentor Phil Bryant of Whittell, who is a director at the camp and nominated Kelly to coach. “I owe the whole thing to Phil,” he said.
Toward the end of the camp, the top 40 players were selected and broken into four all-star teams, one of which Kelly was chosen to coach. Kelly, whose team won its game 80-78, said the level of talent was off the charts, with players throwing down dunks and making highlight plays. One player in particular, third-ranked high school prospect Jaylen Brown of Atlanta, stood out above the rest, Kelly said.
“Oh my gosh, it was ridiculous. Jaylen Brown had some of the most amazing dunks you’d ever seen. He’s just phenomenal,” Kelly said. “I saw some amazing players, amazing dunks, amazing plays. It was cool. Hopefully I get invited back.”
During the same week, the Incline High School gym hosted more than 70 young players in a combined camp between the Incline Basketball Club and Kelly’s TK Basketball Club.
“To have so many kids there from Incline, that was awesome,” said Kelly, who was joined on the coaching staff by his brother and Incline girls head coach Indra Winquest.
This week, Kelly is coaching at another camp in Anaheim with his AAU team. The team is made up of players from throughout the region, including Incline brothers Joey Stranzl and Will Stranzl and Whittell’s Palmer Chaplin. Bryant runs the tournament, which features teams from across the country as well as college coaches.