By LARRY VAUGHT
Quade Green calls it a “beautiful thing” to be able to work with youngsters across the state at various basketball camps Kentucky is doing this summer.
The sophomore guard said when he was younger he was doing the same thing — going to camps, watching older players and trying to be like them.
“They were role models for me then and I am trying to be role models for these kids today and help them succeed,” Green said Thursday before leaving Lexington for another afternoon camp at Boyle County High School in Danville.
“The kids get hyped and when they do they put a smile on our faces, too. That’s a great trade-off right there. They always make us feel better.”
He says the campers’ parents get excited when the players sign autographs or pose for pictures, but there is little contact with anyone except the youngsters.
“We are hands-on with the kids and help them elevate their level of play. It’s fun,” Green said. “It’s great for our freshmen, too. They see how much everybody loves Kentucky now. They have to put the work in and we are going to get the love.”
Sophomore P.J. Washington understands that. He recently had surgery on a broken pinky finger on his left hand and let a player at one camp sign the cast.
“The kid was braved enough to ask, so I let him do it,” Washington said.
Washington said it had been fun going to different cities — UK still has camps left in Frankfort and Monticello — and visiting with fans.
“It’s been really good for our young guys (freshmen) because they really have not got to see the real Kentucky fans yet,” Washington said. “These kids that come to the camps love us. They know all our names. It’s really fun to see all these young kids that just love Kentucky basketball.”