Grand Rapids Greets Special Visitors on Wednesday

July 11th, 2018

Wednesday 4

In partnership with MSA Woodland (Michigan Sports Academy) and the MBA (Michigan Basketball Academy), the Pistons Academy summer camp tour, presented by Kroger, makes it’s first-ever stop in Grand Rapids.

Day 3 (Wednesday) of our inaugural Pistons Academy summer camp in Grand Rapids began with a message from Coach Bryan on mental and physical toughness and what it means to be “tough” both on and off the court. He explained that toughness as a basketball player involves being ultra-competitive while still showing good sportsmanship. Tough-minded players are the ones who do whatever it takes to help their team and always put forth their best effort. They do not make excuses or blame others when things do not go their way, and they focus only on the things that they can control. Off the court, tough-minded players show up on time, complete all of their school work and chores, and treat their elders and peers with respect.

There were several kids in camp today that really listened to Coach Bryan’s message of mental and physical toughness. Players like Lexi Stotenbur, who worked so hard to get open but did not always get the ball. “You never saw her complain or quit,” said Camp Director Geo Thomas, “She continued to work hard the entire day and it was very impressive. I liked the fact that she didn’t complain but chose to keep playing.”  Her efforts paid off as she hit a big basket in the White Division Spotlight Game.”

Other campers who were tough both mentally and physically were Evan Bush, Malyk Farhat, John Flermoen and Leo Wikander.

Another highlight of Wednesday involved our campers receiving a special visit from some very special personalities. Hooper, the official mascot of the Detroit Pistons, paid the campers a visit after lunch. Hooper took pictures with the campers, watched them compete in 4-Ball, and even challenged a few campers to a friendly dance competition.

The fun didn’t stop there, however, as campers were treated to a special dunking performance by the Detroit Pistons’ Extreme Team! The group of high-flying dunkers performed a thrilling show in front of a packed MSA Woodland gymnasium. “Steel”, the Extreme Team’s “Dunker of the Day”, said that today’s crowd of campers was the loudest group they have ever performed in front of!

As Wednesday marked the halfway point of our camp in Grand Rapids, the competition in 5-on-5, 4-Ball, and Free Throw shooting really picked up.

Team 11: 11-1-1
Team 10: 8-4-1
Team 9: 5-8-0
Team 12: 1-12-0

Team 5: 8-4-0
Team 7: 6-6-0
Team 6: 5-6-1
Team 8: 4-7-1

Team 3: 11 wins
Team 2: 8 wins
Team 1: 7 wins
Team 4: 2 wins

In 4-Ball competition, Alabama and Baylor are tied atop the Joe Dumars Division standings. In the Chauncey Billups Division, Kentucky leads the way with Indiana and Princeton battling it out for 2nd place. In the Luke Kennard Division, the Ravens and Tigers are separated by just 1 point in the race for the #1 seed. To view the 4-Ball standings following Wednesday’s games, please view the document below:

MSA 4-Ball Standings (Wednesday)

In the camp-wide free throw competition, players had a chance to earn nearly 30 points on Wednesday, with several shooters beginning to separate themselves from the pack. The top 64 shooters will be placed on the big bracket and given the opportunity to compete for a title in the Pistons Academy Free Throw Championship, presented by the Prince Conference Center at Calvin College.  For a complete look at the scores in our Free Throw Competition, please view the document below:

MSA Free Throw Scores (Wednesday)


The Detroit Pistons won their 3rd NBA World Championship in 2004. The heart and soul of that Championship team was a tough-minded player who took pride in playing defense. What former Detroit Pistons player was named the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year a record 4 times?  Hint: “Fear the Fro!”

Write your answer on a 3″ x 5″ piece of paper and turn in at check-in on Tuesday. Correct answers will be placed in a raffle for an autographed item!


Camp check-in starts at 8:30am. All players must check-in upon entering the facility.

Lunch orders must be placed in the morning at check-in.

Camp will dismiss at 3pm on Thursday. Camp will dismiss at 2pm on Friday. There will be an awards ceremony at 1:30pm Friday.

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