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Steve Vasturia has played in the biggest arenas across America and most recently in Europe, but he will be returning to his hometown of Medford to do his first basketball camp at the gym where his storybook career started.
The former University of Notre Dame four-year starter, who played his first professional season in Germany this year, will direct the Steve Vasturia Basketball Camp for Boys & Girls next month at St. Mary of the Lakes School on Route 70 in Medford.
"I'm really excited to give back to the community and teach kids the game that I love," Vasturia said last week from Germany.
Vasturia’s inaugural instructional camp, which runs from July 10-12 in the spacious Ron Murphy Gym, is for boys and girls from grades 3-12. The boys’ camp is from 9 a.m. to noon and the girls’ camp is from 1-4 p.m.
"It's a great opportunity for players of all skill levels to improve their game and learn," Vasturia said.
Truly, this is a unique opportunity for young players to learn from not only an accomplished local guy who reached the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament twice, but from a player who Notre Dame veteran Irish coach Mike Brey called “a beautiful basketball player” and said he was the “best all-around player he coached.”
Indeed, campers will be instructed from a camp director who grew up playing on the hardwood floor of St. Mary of the Lakes to starring under the Golden Dome.
As a senior, Vasturia started all 36 games for the Irish and finished with 127 straight starts, which is third best in Notre Dame history. He was selected All-ACC Honorable Mention when he averaged 13.1 points a game while shooting a Notre Dame single-season free throw record at 91.0 percent (91-for-100).
Vasturia, who graduated with a degree in business management and consulting, is just the second player at Notre Dame to top 1,000 points, collect 300 assists and shoot over .850 percent from the free throw line, joining Chris Thomas. He finished ranked second in free throw percentage (.853), second in games played (137), 10th in three-point field goals attempted (521), 14th in steals (128), 18th in assists (331) and 22nd in scoring with an even 1,400 points.
What should make this camp so inviting to players and parents is that Vasturia was twice named Notre Dame’s Defensive Player of the Year. He won’t just teach shooting and scoring, but winning basketball. He was known as a complete player who would outwork the opponent. He would do all the tough stuff like boxing out and defending the opponent’s top scorer.
So the campers won’t be hearing just words. They will be hearing winning words from a player who won at every level.
Consider, Vasturia left South Bend with 97 victories over four seasons, matching the 2012-13 Irish graduating class for the school record. Vasturia and classmate V.J. Beachem also set school records for wins in a three-year span (82) and a two-year span (56).
While at St. Mary’s, Vasturia helped the Lakers win three-straight Burlington County League varsity CYO championships as a sixth, seventh and eighth grader.
At the Prep, he was named the Gatorade Pennsylvania Player of the Year as a senior. He scored the most points in the Prep’s prestigious history with 1,764. He was also the Prep’s first player to be named team Most Valuable Player and All-Catholic League for three consecutive years.
Vasturia, who had his No. 32 retired at St. Joseph's Prep in Philadelphia, wore No. 7 for ALBA Berlin, an elite team in Germany. The Albatrosses, who also competes in the EuroCup, plays its home games in the 14,500 seat Mercedes-Benz Arena, but Vasturia is excited to teach the game that he loves in the Medford gym.
"The camp will consist of individual skill development, competition with games and prizes," Vasturia said.
Surely, the camp will be filled with fun and friends, just like when he played at St. Mary of the Lakes.