22 September 2023
As San Antonio Spurs forward Jeremy Sochan walked through the Arts & Recreation Centre and high-fived campers at this year’s Camana Bay Basketball Camp, he couldn’t help but think back on his own childhood.
“I remember when I was a kid out there, I'd be in the same camps,” said Sochan, who visited the local camp in July with hopes to inspire Cayman’s up-and-coming hoopers. “I’m here spending time with kids at basketball camp and just sharing wisdom, having fun with it and bringing energy.”
The 2023 NBA All-Rookie Second Team selection and 2022 No. 9 overall pick to the Spurs worked alongside other professional and collegiate-level coaches to help teach campers about all aspects of the game and help spur interest in the game.
“I wasn't always serious about basketball,” he said. “I think it was being in the community, sharing time with different kids, older coaches, just learning. Having [an NBA player visit camp] is really cool because it inspires people. It makes them a little hungry or maybe not even that, just more interested in basketball. So I think it's really important.
“As kids, it builds character, builds confidence.”
Sochan averaged 11 points, five rebounds and 2.5 assists in 56 games for the Spurs last season. He’s expected to be a key contributor to a team that will garner plenty of attention next season with the addition of 2023 No. 1 overall draft pick Victor Wembenyama, one of the most highly regarded prospects in recent memory.
As for his time in Cayman, Sochan said it’s good to work with children in a new country.
“I think it's cool, different experiences and a new place and different type of lifestyle,” he said. “It's just [about] experiencing it and giving back to the community. I think it’s really important for me as a player, as a human as well. It’s just good to experience [new] stuff and give opportunities to help people, too.”
This article was originally featured in the September/October 2023 print edition of Camana Bay Times.