Saturday's Daily Briefing: FAU basketball camp benefiting from successful season
If it seemed that the athletic side of campus appeared younger and more spry on Friday, there was good reason.
The Mike Jarvis Team Camp brought 46 of Florida's best high school teams to Boca Raton this weekend, including Dillard, Ely, Boyd Anderson, Pine Crest, St. Andrew's, Grandview, St. Thomas Aquinas, Hialeah Gardens, Dwyer, and last year's champion, University School.
Like many things over at The Burrow, the camp is benefiting from FAU's recent success on the hardwood. Last year only 33 teams played in what is essentially one great big high school basketball tournament. Jarvis' first year? Only about 20.
“You never know who your are going to see when you have a team camp – there is always a chance you are going to see someone you want,” said Jarvis, who was present courtside shaking hands with the high school coaches while following the action.
“It's not as much about recruiting as it is about building the brand, building the program and opening The Burrow to kids and to the parents, and hopefully they will come back to a game this season.”
It's also beneficial to the program's bottom line. Each participating school pays an entry fee of $450.
The camp has become one of the biggest in the state of Florida, so big in fact that it is spreading throughout Boca Raton. At any given moment, there are seven games being played, three on the courts of The Burrow, one at nearby Grandview High School, two more at Pope John Paul II High School, with some games mixed in at the FAU rec center or Spanish River Church.
I spent some time at The Burrow on Friday – the photos are from the Ely-Hialeah Gardens game – and was struck by how efficiently everything moved.
There was some pretty good high school basketball being played, too.
“The fact that we have been able to branch out to Dade and Broward counties, and we have teams from Orlando coming, it just shows that our exposure across the state really took off after winning this season,” camp director Pete Gash said.
The camp continues today, with the championship being decided Sunday evening. It's open to the public, so if you want to get a look at players who might someday don an Owls uniform, or even some future FAU students, head on over.
Summer Fridays bring forth a new installment of Former Owl Friday. The week we caught up with Jeff Fiorentino, whose kept travel agents busy over the past couple years.