NBA player Nate Robinson brings hoops camp to Issaquah

August 14, 2012

By Sebastian Moraga

He knows how to play basketball. He knows how to play coy.

Nate Robinson, point guard for the Chicago Bulls, demurred when he was asked to specify where in Issaquah he lives during the offseason.

“Just put around Issaquah, in the city,” he said by phone from the Windy City, his fifth NBA stop in a seven-year career.

Robinson will direct an Elite Youth basketball clinic in his offseason hometown this summer. The camp will occur at the Issaquah Community Center Aug. 18 and 19.

“I want kids to get better in every aspect of their game, whatever they can do to get better, I’m trying to instill that in a kid,” he said. “Togetherness, leadership, dribbling, passing, shooting.”

On the Web

Learn more about Elite Sports Camps and register at

Children ages 6-17 are welcome. Registration is $150.

A three-time winner of the NBA All-Star Game’s dunking competition, Robinson said there won’t be much dunking at his camp.

“There’s more to basketball than just dunking,” said Robinson, who grabbed national headlines by dominating a contest awash in players taller than himself, a 5-foot-9-inch product of Rainier Beach High School and the University of Washington.

This will be the first Issaquah version of the camp Robinson held on Mercer Island for many years.

Despite his experience in coaching youth basketball, Robinson said he does not see coaching in his post-basketball future.

“I have three kids of my own,” he said. “So when I retire, the time will go mostly to my children before I think about coaching or anything like that.”

Still, camps are a big part of his schedule. Besides Issaquah, he will hold camps in Liberty Lake, Wash., and Westbury, N.Y. He has already hosted camps in Longview and Honolulu.

While a teenager in Seattle, Robinson said, he attended camps by then-Seattle SuperSonics stars Shawn Kemp and Gary Payton. While at the UW, he said he helped with camps his college coach Lorenzo Romar organized.

During his time at the UW, Robinson also played football, and said he might try his hand at running a football camp in the future, perhaps with his buddy Nate Burleson, a former Seattle Seahawk now with the Detroit Lions.

“Camps have been something I’ve loved to do throughout the years,” Robinson said.

This Issaquah camp is open to all children regardless of basketball abilities, he added. If you know nothing about basketball, you can learn at camp.

“I just want to let everyone know that you can better yourself in basketball and in life as well,” he said.

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