Saturday, July 3, 2010

A Fresno State basketball-a-palooza

Here is some video from a Fresno channel sports program about Paul George's signing -- Steve Cleveland and Greg Smith, working the Bulldog basketball kids camp, are featured. It takes a few seconds to get to the George part.


Here's a report from that camp:

Stephen Trembley
Fresno State Athletics Communications (Men's Basketball)

July 1, 2010

The smiles spread across the hardwood of Fresno State's Student Recreation Center during the annual fun summer camp hosted by the Bulldog men's basketball team this week.

The summer camp has grown to a record participation during the Steve Cleveland Era with 180 campers joining the `Dogs to learn and grow from their favorite student-athletes and coaches in an exciting environment.

The program is under the direction of Fresno State assistant coach Lee Moon, who has made it a priority to make sure everyone enjoys their experience on the basketball floor.

"The growth is a credit to our community," Moon said of the camp. "We want to make sure everyone is having fun and loving the game."

The week started each day at 9 a.m. as the focus remained on the basics combined with detailed instruction on making smart passes, the art of efficiently grabbing rebounds and taking good shots and a host of other drills and competitions in an action-packed schedule.

Moon revitalized the Bulldogs' basketball summer camp two years ago with 35 young campers and quickly sparked the enrollment to 100 campers last summer. At 180 campers this year, the camp has grown by upwards of five-fold in just two years.

To accommodate the expansion, Moon moved the camp from the North Gym to the Student Recreation Center and expects to be able to welcome even more of the local community next year. The ideal goal will allow for Fresno State to host multiple weeks of the program.

"We love being able to spend time with our community and watch the kids have a great time," Moon added. "This is a wonderful opportunity to teach life skills in a fun environment."

Greg Smith, the reigning WAC Freshman of the Year, was one of the five Bulldog returners who served as camp counselors and showed his passion on the sidelines while coaching his campers.

"All of us enjoy this week," Smith said. "We have a good time playing with the kids and giving back to our community."

The camp was held at the Student Recreation Center from June 28 - July 1, 2010. 

ESPN's Andy Katz leads off a who-can-replace-the-NBA-draft-lottery-choices-on-their-respective-college-teams feature with none other than Paul George and Fresno State -- Greg Smith and Tim Steed are mentioned. Go here.


Here's a look at Steve Cleveland's Fresno tenure:

Cleveland's Resolve Steadies Course
Stephen Trembley
Fresno State Athletics Communications (Men's Basketball)

June 29, 2010

The consistency of Steve Cleveland's mission is rooted in the core of a man with an unwavering conviction that his principled foundation will foster a stronger community.

Steve Cleveland Five years ago, Steve returned to his hometown to serve as the head coach of the Fresno State men's basketball team.  He was charged with creating a culture of academic excellence and compliance while competing for a conference championship.

To achieve these objectives, Steve developed a philosophy that each step he took would be a building block for the program to be primed for the present and future.

He calls it "Built to Last," based on the book by James Collins and Jerry I. Porras.  This approach is rooted in the central concept that we each have the ability to leave our society a better place.

As the Cleveland Era enters its sixth season for the Bulldogs, the culture of the basketball program has been significantly resurrected.

His basketball program achieved the nation's largest Academic Progress Rate (APR) improvement, recorded the graduation of the most student-athletes in the program's history, returned all scholarships and practice time, and cultivated the first Academic All-District honoree (two-time winner Nedeljko Golubovic).

Paul George with NBA Commish at 2010 NBA DraftIn addition, the building blocks remain in place to compete for a conference title even after Cleveland's program honed the skills of two NBA Draft picks in the past four years - Paul George (the Indiana Pacers' top pick and No. 10 overall in the 2010 NBA Draft) and Dominic McGuire (the 47th overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft by the Washington Wizards). George would have been one of the top contenders for next season's Preseason Player of the Year WAC honor, as McGuire would have been for the 2007-08 season.

In looking ahead to the 2010-11 season, Cleveland will draw from the depth and athleticism of an exciting roster poised to leave their mark in the Bulldog legacy. Here are a few notes for Bulldog fans to chew on:

Greg Smith and Steven Shepp at WAC Tourney--- Greg Smith, the reigning WAC Freshman of the Year, and point guard Steven Shepp will back and stronger as the two returning starters from last year's squad.  Both were newcomers last season and showed their ability to play with anyone throughout the season.  Smith dominated the low post and Shepp displayed his flash, dash and long-range threat as a deep 3-point shooter. Smith and Shepp have each dedicated themselves to the weight room and working out in the gym to prepare for their statement year.

--- Nedeljko Golubovic, the back-to-back CoSIDA/ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District VIII honoree, will provide the senior leadership for the talented Bulldog roster.  As a forward capable of playing every post position, Golubovic can stretch defenses as a 3-point threat.  With two healthy wrists this season, the Red Wave can expect a strong year from Golubovic.

--- Jerry Brown III and Garrett Johnson, who played sparingly as freshmen last season, have each grown and will be able to earn immediate playing time as contributors from beyond the 3-point arc, mid-range jump shooters, pounding the offensive glass, applying aggressive defensive play and attacking the basket.

--- As for newcomers, Cleveland has once again restocked his bench, but added even more talent by signing Bracken Funk, Tyler Johnson, Kevin Olekaibe, John Ryan and Tim Steed to join the team next year. Also, Jonathan Wills, who redshirted last season as a D-1 transfer from New Mexico, will have an opportunity to start on the perimeter.  Each new addition, and there may be more, will provide a unique spark as one of Cleveland's blocks built to last.

The young men in this program have a single purpose to compete at the highest level for every minute of every game.  The 'Dogs are ready to show their bark and bite through their exceptional gift of playing on this stage.

The foundation has been set by a man committed to his principles and primed to use the blocks he built to guide his group of young men on the path to a WAC championship and an invitation to the 2011 NCAA Tournament.

While Fresno State makes their run, the Red Wave will see passion, heart and thrilling moments at every turn.  The growth and development will be on full display this fall as the Bulldogs return to the hardwood with their core vision steady and consistent because Steve Cleveland's resolve is strong and unmatched.

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