Kelly Olynyk will be learning under a new coach this season as a rookie on the Boston Celtics. Before he is the student, he took to the sidelines last week at the first annual Olynyk Klynyk.
Olynyk hosted the basketball camp at his high school in his hometown of Kamloops, British Columbia. The seven footer towered over the campers as he got hands-on in drills and training routines.
“I have been very fortunate in my early development to have a ‘community’ to help me along the way, and I want to help others and let them know they can reach their potential and dreams,” he said. “Although it is hard to measure impact and value through a camp such as this, if I can better the life of even just one kid it makes it all worthwhile.”
Olynyk, 22, described hosting his own camp as “humbling” and “exciting.” The experience was another reminder of how far he has come in his career since being selected with the 13th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft out of Gonzaga University.
The camp also showed the emerging talent in his native country. Olynyk and this year’s number one pick Anthony Bennett are from Canada, as is Tristan Thompson and top prospect Andrew Wiggins, to name a few.
“Basketball is now prominent in Canada,” said Olynyk. “There is a growing level of interest, excitement and talent emerging each and every day. However not only is this talent emerging, but it is now being noticed on the national level from high school all the way to the pros and the NBA.”
Olynyk’s summer has been packed with unique opportunities since the draft, including taking a tour of Fenway Park and judging the annual Ribfest competition back home. Amid all the “flashier” experiences, simply sharing his knowledge and passion for the game has been one of his favorite things to do.
“Being able to motivate and inspire young athletes is great because it places you in a different capacity of the game as a coach instead of a player,” he said. “Anytime you can put a smile on someone's face or make a difference in someone's life, it is a special feeling.”