Celtics Legend to Host Camp

BAR HARBOR — Basketball icon K.C. Jones returns to the Mount Desert Island YMCA to conduct his annual weeklong basketball camp at the MDI YMCA from July 20 through 24. This is the third year for the camp and this year it will take on a decidedly international flavor.

The camp has been growing in popularity over the course of its existence due, in large part, to the reputation of the legendary Jones. This year the Tyreso Basketball Team from Stockholm Sweden is making the journey to participate in the camp. The team will spend two weeks attending several camps in the United States and will play in the MDI boys’ round robin tournament on Saturday, July 18, being organized by MDI High School varsity basketball coach Justin Norwood.

K.C. Jones is a former professional basketball player and coach from the United States. He played college basketball at the University of San Francisco and, along with Bill Russell, led them to two NCAA championships, in 1955 and 1956. Jones also played with Russell on the 1956 United States men’s Olympic basketball team, which won the gold medal at the Melbourne Summer Games. During his playing days, he was known as a tenacious defender. Jones spent all of his nine seasons in the NBA with the Boston Celtics, being part of eight championship teams from 1959 to 1966. In NBA history, only teammates Bill Russell and Sam Jones won more championship rings during their playing careers. After Boston lost to the Philadelphia 76ers in the 1967 playoffs, Jones ended his playing career.

Campers will get the opportunity to benefit from Jones’ vast experience. The camp will feature station drills, fundamentals, scrimmages and a mini-tournament. Jones and other special guests, including former UMaine Black Bears coach Skip Chappelle, will present lectures as well. Children ages 7 to 12 will attend camp from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. and children 13 to 18 will attend from 12:30 to 4 p.m.

A stellar lineup of other coaches will be on hand to assist Jones. Ellis “Sonny” Lane, coach of multiple Massachusetts High School State Championship teams is slated to attend. USM basketball standout, Dave Leal who played professionally in Sweden also intends to help out. Dan Berry, former executive director of the MDI YMCA, is returning to lend a hand. MDI High School alums Donny and Andy Shea also will add their expertise to the camp. Harbor House sports director Scott Phelps will toe the line for the coaching staff as well. MDI High School varsity basketball players Megan Phelps, Nate Chisholm and Jayson Burke plan on getting in on the action also.

On Friday, July 24, at 6 p.m. is “Dinner with KC” night at Kebo Valley Golf Club. Jones will sing, and Celtic tickets, signed basketballs and more will be raffled. Tickets are $65 per person and can be purchased at the Y.

Ticket-holders will be entered into a drawing to win a variety of prizes including: two sets of two Celtics game tickets for the 2009/2010 season and a Titleist golf bag with Kebo logo autographed by Jones.

Space is still available in the camp. The cost of the camp is $125 for members and $140 for nonmembers. Register online at www.mdiymca.org or call 288-3511 to have forms mailed. Financial aid is available.

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