You can attend Dwyane Wade's fantasy camp

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You can attend Dwyane Wade's fantasy camp

From Comcast SportsNet Monday, August 22, 2011

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP)-- Dwyane Wade(notes) has the basketball on the wing. Tom Crean is setting up a play. Scattered around the court are a number of players, many nodding in unison.

No, this wasnt Marquette, circa 2003.

Welcome to the inaugural Dwyane Wade Fantasy Camp, where 100 or so men between the ages of 35 to 68 are spending four days with Wade, Hall of Famer Chris Mullin, Miami Hurricanes coach Jim Larranaga, Florida Atlantic coach Mike Jarvis, former Duke star Jay Williams and a slew of otherswith everything taking place at a posh Miami Beach hotel, all for 12,500 per person.

We learned a lot from each other. Continue to do, said Crean, Wades coach at Marquette and now the coach at Indiana. And hes not only a player that Ive coached and a person that I love. Im inspired by what he does. Im inspired by what he does on the court and looking at what hes done as a person, as a man, as a father, as a businessman, those things are just fantastic.

So through Sunday, this group of campers is getting a close-up look at what Wades all about.

The star Miami Heat guard is mingling with the guys, taking pictures, teasing them about their games, and giving them a glimpse of what makes him tick. On Friday, the first full day of the camp (it began Thursday with orientation and a player draft, among other events), Wade and Crean spent more than 30 minutes breaking down aspects of pick-and-roll offense before taking some questions and sending the campers off for some games.

Just like old times, said Wade of working with the coach who helped him to the 2003 NCAA Final Four.

Its all happening inside a massive hotel ballroom, with three full courts set up inside. Wade was worried at first that the ceiling15 feet, maybe a bit higherwould be too low to allow for decent play. That concern was quickly erased when the 2006 NBA finals MVP took some shots of his own, his normal arc having plenty of room to spare.

This is the first year and were going to get better from here, Wade said. At the end of the day, like I told all of the campers here, we all have something in commonand its the love of the game. Everyones here because of the love of the game.

Part of Fridays session was a question-and-answer period, where Wade let the campers ask whatever they wanted. One particular question seemed to bring out an especially good answer, when someone asked how he can get better.

Ive done a lot of great things in eight years. So what? Wade said. Ive got to figure out in the next wave of my career, how do I get better? In my mind, I have what I feel is a next level. And I have a blueprint in front of me. I have the Michael Jordans of the world. I have the Kobe Bryants of the world. I have these guys that are showing whats the next level.

And he said his teammates with the Heat, especially LeBron James(notes) and Chris Bosh(notes), will join him in a quest to keep improvingwhich is what he was trying to teach his campers how to do.

The only way the Miami Heat gets better is if individually I come back better, if individually LeBron comes back better, if individually Chris comes back better, Wade said. So going forward, I know that every year, my role might change. At the end of the day, its about team success. Individual success, Ive had it, Ive done it. Team success is way better.

Wade has had a busy summer, with trips to Europe and China, business in New York and Los Angeles, and an upcoming Wades World weekend in Chicago ahead, along with more appearances in September. He also worked a number of camps for kids, and found a lot of what works with them doesnt necessarily hold with the older customers.

Its very different, Wade said. Obviously with the kids, theres a lot of whistles being blown. These guys are veterans of camps. They kind of know what they like. They know what theyre expecting. We asked them what they want to do, and they want to play. So theyll be very sore by Sunday.

'Ecstatic' Thomas was with Celtics teammates via FaceTime after Game 3 win

'Ecstatic' Thomas was with Celtics teammates via FaceTime after Game 3 win

CLEVELAND – Gone but definitely not forgotten.

Isaiah Thomas, out for the rest of the playoffs with a right hip injury, wasn’t in the Q Arena physically, but his presence – and his face via FaceTime – were inside the locker room in the initial moments following their 111-108 Game 3 win over Cleveland.

“We called him right after the game,” said Boston’s Avery Bradley. “He got to celebrate with us a little bit. It’s sad that he’s not here. We wish he was here with us. We just want him to get better.”

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens added, “I didn’t even realize that had happened until later on. one of my first text messages was from Isaiah.  He’s hurting not being out there but he’s completely invested, for sure.”

He initially suffered the injury on March 15 at Minnesota, but re-aggravated it in the first half of Boston’s Game 2 loss to the Cavs. Less than 24 hours later, Thomas was deemed out for the remainder of the playoffs.

Instead of Thomas being the rock of sorts that the Celtics lean on with his play, he has become their rallying cry for the remainder of the playoffs.

“All we can do is play hard for him,” Bradley said. “He was excited with the way we played. We’re a family. Other guys got an opportunity to step up for us. Marcus (Smart) had a big game for us. It could be somebody else next game.”

Smart led the Celtics with a career-high 27 points which included a career-best seven 3’s going down.

And most important, the Celtics avoided going down 3-0 which would have all but sealed their fate in this series considering no team in league history has ever come back for a 3-0 series deficit.

Doing so without Thomas, the Celtics’ leading scorer and the top regular season scorer in the Eastern Conference, made the win all that more impressive for Boston.

“It meant a lot,” Horford said. “We know, Isaiah gives us so much and gave us so much this year. For him, we definitely wanted to come out and fight for him and our season and our team. It felt good to keep believing despite being down big. Just felt good to win the game and bring life back to our locker room. Because going down 3-0, that’s a death sentence pretty much. This was big.”

Not only to the Celtics players but also to Thomas who also texted head coach Brad Stevens full of excitement following Boston’s surprising win.

“He was excited,” Horford recalled. “He was ecstatic. I know he wishes he was here being part of it. We just need to keep doing it for him and our group and doing the best we can.”