After being cancelled last year due to the pandemic restrictions, the summer camp scene is back in full swing on the Auburn University campus.
That is good not only for camp participants and AU coaching staffs, it is good for the local economy with literally thousands of visitors making the trip to Auburn for a smorgasbord of events.
Coach Bruce Pearl got things started in a big way on the Auburn sports camp scene with a five-day basketball camp that attracted plenty of local pre-teens and teenagers from the area. Checking in on the event at Auburn Arena, it looked like a good time was had by all with a lot of teaching taking place in the process.
New AU football head coach Bryan Harsin’s first camps began this week. Last week, his coaching staff as well as Pearl’s assistants began entertaining a parade of prospects, who were finally able to have face-to-face meetings with college coaches for the first time in 15 months. Like college coaches everywhere, they will be focused on recruiting for the month of June.
Highly-regarded prospects from around the country are showing up for official visits and unofficial visits to check out both the football and basketball programs. Pearl’s team attracted three five-star recruits on official visits in the same week, something that has likely never happened with any Auburn basketball coaching staff.
Whether it is cheerleaders dressed to match parading across campus with their coaches and chaperones, Camp War Eagle incoming freshmen or talented young athletes eager to learn new skills and show their talents to Auburn coaches, it is good to see the energy level returning to normal this summer.
From the Notebook
• One of the top performers who will compete at this week’s NCAA Track and Field Championships is an Auburn University senior as well as a local high school star who will have a chance to win a national title in the javelin.
Kylee Carter, runner-up at the previous NCAA Outdoor Championships meet that was held in 2019, has the second longest throw in the country this year at 199 feet, one inch.
She was a state champion at Beauregard High in the javelin, high jump, long jump and triple jump. Carter followed that with an SEC title in the javelin, an event she will try to win this week competing in Eugene, Oregon. Her top competition is an SEC rival at Georgia.
• Zion Cruz, a 6-5, 175-pound rising senior at The Patrick School in Hillside, New Jersey, is ranked as the No. 18 overall basketball prospect in the 2022 recruiting class and a five-star combo guard by 247Sports. He took an official visit to Auburn and says that he loved it and that the Tigers have moved to No. 1 on his list. He is expected to announce his college choice by the end of the summer.
• AU signee Sunisa Lee was impressive as the all-around runner-up at the just completed U.S. Gymnastics Championships. Later this month she will be one of the favorites to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Team for this year’s games in Japan.
Lee, who is from Minnesota, brought home a team gold at the 2019 World Championships at Stuttgart, Germany along an individual silver medal on the floor exercise and a bronze medal on bars at the event.
Mark Murphy is the editor of Inside the Auburn Tigers magazine and newsletter.