How’s everybody’s summers going out there??? I hope you guys had some fun and have been on some cool vacations before you have to go back to work or start school again. I know I’ve had a blast all summer, travelling a lot and seeing the world. I’ve been to Italy, Germany and Spain and several cool places here in the U.S. too. It still amazes me sometimes how basketball has allowed me to see the world and visit with people all over the globe.
I’m back in Orlando this week for my annual basketball camp out at UCF, the Dwight Howard Basketball Camp. We have more than 500 kids ages 7-18 at the camp this week and it’s just so cool for me to see all of those smiling faces. I’m out at the camp every day and it’s neat to see the kids working on their skills and getting better every day. And with me, it’s about the interaction with the kids and showing them that I care about them.
I know with some of the athletes’ camps, they put their name on it and never even show up. But that’s just not me because I think the best way to show someone how much you care is by spending time with them on a personal level. I wanted to conduct these camps because I didn’t have the resources to do this when I was a kid, so I wanted to give the kids a safe place to hang out with an NBA player and also work on their basketball skills.
Of all the things that I do, I think this camp is one of the coolest because of the impact it has one the kids. If I can help one kid, then it’s worth it. Sometimes just showing them that you care, listening to them and making them laugh can make all of the difference in the world. So it’s good to see the smiling faces on the kids again!!!
I just got back from Houston where I have been working out with Hakeem “The Dream’’ Olajuwon once again. He has a personal gym at his house and we got in a pretty tough workout every day last week. This year, instead of working just on back-to-the-basket stuff, we did some power forward and face-up drills. Learning that sort of stuff can only help me and give me more weapons in my arsenal for next season – whenever that might be.
People made a big deal out of me working with Hakeem last year, and I’m sure they will again. But really, he’s just giving me drills to work on and tips. It’s up to me to put in the work, listen to the advice and put it together on the court. So I just feel like without the blood, sweat and tears that I put in on the court, none of it would mean much. But I’m taking what Dream tells me and working on it over and over until I perfect it.
Even though I have been travelling a lot, I’m still managing to get in plenty of workouts to better my game. Right now, I’m on the court six days a week. Sometimes I’ll get in a session at midnight and sometimes I’ll work out at 6 o’clock in the morning. My schedule is so busy during the day so sometimes I have to be flexible. And even when we’re on the road in other countries, my trainer and manager make sure to find a gym so I can get a good sweat in. I really feel like players get better during the summer, and I know that I’ve put in the time and the work to put myself in a position to keep improving.
After my camp this week, I’m off to New York to film an episode of 106 & Park for BET. Then, I’m off to Africa again for a 10-day trip. We’re going to Tanzania to take medicine and supplies to the people there in need. The trip to Africa a couple of years ago really opened my eyes to how many people around the world who are in need and I wanted to go back and help however I can. We had to take a bunch of shots before going to Africa to guard against the diseases there, but it will be worth it when we get there and have the chance to help the people out.
Well, I’m gonna get out of here for now. Thanks to everyone attending my camp this summer. Hopefully this lockout will get solved real soon and we can have this season start on time. I’m going to keep on working with my drills and stuff and I’ll be ready whenever it begins.
Peace out, everybody!!! Yuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!