Growing up, I had the opportunity to play basketball and attend a couple summer basketball camps. And while the drills were good and we practiced a lot, I can’t say I ever got to know my coaches or felt like they cared about me in any capacity. If anything, it just felt like something we had to do in order to make the school team.
When Integrity Sports needed a photographer for their summer camp, I was immediately interested. One of the founders, Roger Powell Jr, attended the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and played for the Fighting Illini. In fact, I had actually taken a class with Roger and remembered that he was a nice guy off the court. I’ve been able to keep up with Roger through the years through my friend and fellow photographer, Kenny Kim, who has worked with the Powell family on numerous photoshoots.
Co-founders Mike Wilks & Todd Wolfe joined with Roger Powell to create Integrity Sports. Each of them have spent time in NBA and they know what it takes to bring your basketball game to the next level. Students can receive coaching from these experienced players. But what interested me the most with Integrity Sports, is their interest in the individual and character in addition to their athletic abilities.
Each day one of the co-founders has a short talk about integrity and character. They stress how important it is to make the right decisions and to work hard in everything they do. These adolescents are surrounded by all kinds of pressures and need good role models of athletes who live their lives the right way. Here are a few of my favorite images from my short time with them!
Mike Wilks was leading some defensive drills-
Roger Powell coaching various post moves-
Todd Wolfe reviewing passing fundamentals
And the most important time of the day, where Roger, Todd, & Mike talk to the kids about integrity.
One last shot of the coaches and admin staff!