Photo: Memphis Hustle basketball coach Jason March directs campers during his Hardwood Habits camp at the Landers Center. (Bob Bakken/desotocountynews.com)
Memphis Hustle coach Jason Hustle has been kept busy during the offseason, turning his interest from his NBA G League team to the Hustle’s parent team, the Memphis Grizzlies.
In particular, March’s focus has been with the Grizzlies playing in the Salt Lake City and Las Vegas summer leagues, many of whom were playing for him with the Hustle last season.
“We’ve been all Grizzlies with summer leagues in Salt Lake City and Vegas,” March said Thursday.
But this week, March has been busy running his annual Hardwood Habits Basketball Camp at the Landers Center in Southaven. He said about 140 youngsters from third through 10th grade are learning basketball skills from him, members of the Hustle coaching staff, and others.
“We have some of the Hustle coaches, a lot of support staff, some college players, some high school coaches,” March said. “We take whoever we can get who has a little bit of a background in basketball. Most of them are volunteering three days out of their summer.”
The strong turnout has been the most number of aspiring basketball players coming to the Hardwood Habits camp in the seven years it has been held.
“It’s for something local that allows kids to get in the gym and learn more about basketball,” March said. “They’re around great coaches and great people.”
It won’t be until sometime in September when the Memphis Hustle roster for the upcoming season will start being put together.
“Open tryouts will be sometime at the end of September and then in early October we’ll get rolling with picking our players, G League draft and all of those things, like two-ways,” March said. “We’ll know more of who we will have and who we will not have coming back from last season.”
It’s expected that some familiar faces will be back, but it’s not known how many there will be. Much of last year’s roster was busy impacting the Grizzlies in summer league action.
“The starting five that was out there in Vegas in summer league played for us and we had a few guys come off the bench,” March said. “A lot of the players who were with the Grizzlies this summer played for us at some point last season.”