Citi Dwight Howard Experience Brings Early Gifts for Kids

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Citi Dwight Howard Experience Brings Early Gifts for Kids
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Dwight Howard hopes to provide answers for the Lakers in 2013.

The Lakers hosted the Charlotte Bobcats last Tuesday and barely snuck away with the victory. They had lost four of the previous six games and Laker fans were left looking for answers. 

The Laker players, however, were just glad to walk away with the victory. The Bobcats came into the game ranked 29th out of 30 teams in the NBA Power Rankings, according to ESPN.com.

The night after the Lakers' win against the Bobcats, center Dwight Howard brought his notorious cheer to Santa Monica College through the Citi Dwight Howard Experience, a youth camp designed to teach young athletes the fundamentals of basketball.

When Howard arrived, the 30 campers had just completed their warm-up dribbling, shooting, rebounding and defensive drills. Howard followed camp director Jim Stoll throughout the camp as he high-fived each and every camper. 

A few young men were chosen to demonstrate to Dwight the drills they had just completed: the Mikan drill, where players alternate between left- and right-handed layups; knock-out, a shooting competition; a rebounding drill; and NBA Baller Beats.

NBA Baller Beats is a new interactive game on the XBOX Kinect that is designed to test one's dribbling skills. Similar to recent games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band, the game instructs players on where and how to dribble and the XBOX Kinect technology senses the movement. Players are scored on their dribbling ability and their rhythm.

Howard then spent the next 20 minutes demonstrating to the campers, ages seven to 14, how to analyze and break down the game from the post position.

He didn't just stand behind the kids and pretend to play defense. If he was showing a drill and the kid had his weight leaning the wrong way, he corrected it. He didn't just show them how to drop-step and get to the basket. He showed the campers and their parents how to score from the post going left and right against a stronger opponent and against a quicker opponent.

Of course, he did it in a style that only Dwight can. 

Dwight Howard offered $800 if this camper could hit a half-court shot. He made it.

I've attended several of these types of camps and no matter how good the staff is, the professional athletes determine whether or not the camp is perceived as good. If the athletes aren't engaging and informative, then the camps inevitably are a disappointment. 

Dwight's camps don't have this problem. Superman likes to engage with campers in games of one-on-one, knock-out or a ProCamps original competition called "Go For It!" in which Howard offered $100 if a camper could hit a half-court shot.

Don't think he would have paid it? He lost $800 to a camper at his camp in Orlando last year. Here's the video to prove it. I hadn't seen anything like that since I watched Kevin Durant hit this shot at a camp in Oklahoma City two years ago. I digress.

Despite the woes that have ailed the Lakers early this season, and the unfortunate rule that each game can only contain one basketball, Howard had reason to be less cheerful at camp. But he wasn't. He set aside his work life to bring a smile to some kids during the holidays and regardless of what happens on the court, you can't hate on a guy like that. 

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