The players who got to the bucket the most at this year's Peach Jam went through the City of Palms first. Three of the top four scorers in the weeklong showcase, which serves as the championship of the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League, played in the Culligan City of Palms Classic.
NBA teams that drafted Culligan City of Palms Classic talent this year quickly learned the wisdom of their decisions. Three players who appeared in the City of Palms were named NBA All-Summer League First Team.
Director of Officiating Kevin Hetherington shared his thoughts in last month's issue about foul calls and the appeal of refereeing at the game's highest level. Now, with summer in full swing, he's out at camps scouting officials for future Culligan City of Palms Classics. We asked him for a glimpse through his eye for talent:
Q. What are you looking for in these camps? your philosophy for the City of Palms?
A.I'm looking for a type of referee - people who have great mechanics, understand basketball, know the three-person system and integrate well with the people who we have working. I like consistency. Not everybody can fulfill that.
Q. Is it possible for referees to try too hard to stand out and prioritize getting noticed over simply calling a good game?
A.An NBA Finals referee buddy of mine once told me, "It's OK to look bored." I just need them to relax and be poised and not look excitable. On the other hand, the environment that they're put in can sometimes show me whether or not they can referee. People who I see in a camp, I want them to be with two partners who potentially aren't very good and two coaches who are truly a pain. That way I can see whether or not they can handle the coaches and can remain calm when everything seems like it's on fire.