Jason Thompson continues to give back to South Jersey basketball.
The former Lenape High School star and NBA veteran will run his basketball camp again this week in West Deptford.
Thompson, however, has further developed his hoops camp with a new program called L.I.V.E. Like JT.
The L.I.V.E. Like JT (LLJT) encourages campers to “use their voices to advocate for positive changes in the world.”
So the camp is about much more than working on cross-over dribbles and step-back jump shots.
The LLJT Camp will run from Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 12 noon at the RiverWinds in West Deptford.
“For me, it's more about the education part,” Thompson said. “Its about the education part of imagining a goal and working hard for it. And achieving goals. It is important to make that the message.”
In addition to learning high-level basketball, the camp includes a learning program that is a four-step process, teaching each camper to learn, imagine, voice and educate.
“You can have all the talent in the world, but if you have a bad attitude and you're not eating the right food, things like that aren’t going to help you,” Thompson said.
Of course, Thompson knows all about doing the right things to reach the highest level. The former first-round draft pick of Sacramento played eight seasons in the NBA before playing professionally in China last year.
“Over the years in Sacramento, for five or six years, I was doing camps and I always felt like it would be good to come back and do camps here at home and where I grew up,” Thompson said.
Thompson, who signed to play in Turkey this year with Euroleague champions Fenerbahce, ran his JT Elite Camp in Sacramento as well at as his alma mater Rider University. He has also hosted a basketball tournament at Tabernacle Church to raise money for his foundation.
In 2016, as a member of the Golden State Warriors, he held a fundraising dinner in Philadelphia after a game against the 76ers that was attended by many of his World Champion teammates that raised over $30,000 for his foundation.
Each day at camp, one of the four key words - Learn. Imagine. Voice. Educate. – will be stressed. Each day the campers who exemplify the spirit of the word will receive a t-shirt and certificate.
LLJT encourages young people to talk about their goals and “tell people what you're going to achieve.”
Thompson believes “when you say it out loud, it becomes real.”
He stresses to the camper to surround themselves with like-minded friends and not to allow anyone to silence your dreams.
“The more you talk about it, the better chance it will come true,” Thompson says.
All campers will be reminded daily of their experience by receiving a L.I.V.E. Like JT backpack with school supplies at the end of the camp.
“We have kids coming from South Jersey, North jersey, Delaware, Philadelphia and New York to the camp to learn and play against competition not just in their backyard,” Thompson said.
Thompson last played in the NBA in 2016 with the Warriors and the Raptors. His brother Ryan plays in Germany.
“For sure, I want to keep this going and that's why I have my family and my brother Ryan involved,” said Thompson, whose father, Chuck, is also involved. “I have basketball friends coming from California to help at the camp, that is the kind of the relationships that I have built.
“They miss me being out there and teaching the kids, to help me and to support these kids, that's how important it is.
“I want to keep expanding it as we go.”
You can register for camp at https://jtelite.eventbrite.com