A few days after I got back to Florida, Dan called me again.
“Tyson, you played great at the camp in Venice and I think you really have a shot to get on a team. There’s a camp I know of in Atlanta where there will be lots of scouts, and teams need shooters like you.”
Extremely skeptical, I got to the bottom of the matter, “Thanks, Dan. How much is it?”
“It’s $300, but if you get on a team it’ll be worth it.”
Rolling my eyes, I played his game. “Okay, and I’d have to fly myself there?”
Acting like the innocent player with dreams of the NBA, I said, “Okay, well is there any way you could help out with the payment? That’s a little expensive, plus I’ll be paying for my own plane ticket.”
“Oh man, I would, but my money’s all tied up right now. I’d love to but I can’t. You’re a great shooter though, and you should definitely go.”
“Okay, well let me think about it. I’ll get back to you in the next few days.”
“Great, man. Let’s talk soon.”
Some people try to sell the dream. But it takes more than $300 for a two-day camp for a childhood dream of making the NBA to come true.
If 100 people pay $300 for a camp, that’s $30,000 going into the pockets of whoever created it. Guys like Dan no doubt get a commission for getting athletes to attend. Maybe they hire a few scouts to come to make it seem like there’s representation, but from what I could tell a lot of it seemed for show. The hard truth is that if you’re not on the radar of scouts before one of these camps, the odds of making a name for yourself there are extremely low.
When Dan called back a few days later to ask if I was interested in going to the camp in Atlanta, I texted back that I couldn’t make it. I figured he probably moved on to other athletes with dreams of NBA riches and stardom.
I realized I was probably being scammed to go to a basketball camp for the NBA.