OGDENSBURG — As youngsters growing in the Syracuse area Brandon Triche and Alshwan Hymes became best friends, and both dreamed of becoming NCAA Division I basketball players and someday playing in the NBA.
Both realized the first stage of their long range goals, enjoying outstanding collegiate careers after playing on two Class A state championship teams at Jamesville-DeWitt High School under the direction of former Canton Central standout Bobby McKinney.
Triche enjoyed the more celebrated career. He was a four-year starter at Syracuse University where he became the first SU player to win 120 games and was featured on the cover of the Sports Illustrated college basketball preview.
Hymes played four years at Canisius College as a dependable two-way player and deadly 3-point shooter. He finished second among the school’s all-time 3-point leaders and as a senior captain led the Golden Griffins to the program’s best record and first NCAA Division I Tournament berth.
This week they teamed up once again as part of the coaching staff for the second week of the No Nonsense Basketball Camp at Ogdensburg Free Academy.
On Wednesday they spoke to wide-eyed campers who soaked up every word of their messages.
Triche spoke of taking advantage of opportunities and learning from coaches.
He credited his father for giving his basketball career a jump-start at age five.
“When I was five I wanted to go everywhere with brothers who were nine and 12. My father told my brothers that if they didn’t take me to the playground to play then they couldn’t go,” recalled Triche, who has signed a two-year contract to play for Vitrus Roma in the top professional league in Italy.
“From there I just kept on playing and eventually I got picked to go to some big camps. At one camp I played against NBA players like OJ Mayo, Derrick Rose and Kevin Love.”
Triche, who attended the New York Knicks camp earlier this summer, said that playing in Italy could lead him to the NBA someday.
He urged the campers to make the most of their opportunities and related that he really enjoys the philosophy and administration of the No Nonsense Camp.
“I don’t have any desire to coach right now but I really enjoy helping players develop.” Triche said.
“This camp isn’t all about just playing and scrimmaging, its about development. It’s a great experience to work with all the coaches because everyone does things differently and it is great opportunity to learn.”
Hymes urged the campers to stay focused in school to do everything possible to stick out at a basketball camp.
“Don’t put a ceiling on your potential and stay focused in school. I didn’t do that as a freshman and sophomore and I got held back,” Hymes said. “You can’t become a Division I athlete if you don’t do well in school.”
Hymes recently returned from Europe where he explored professional playing opportunities.
“I am still living the dream. I still want to do everything I can to play professionally,” he said.
Hymes said the No Nonsense camp offers youngsters a chance to attain their dreams.
“I’ve worked a lot of camps and a lot were like baby-sitting,” he said. “Here everything organized extremely well and the players work hard. And at a young age players are put in a position to learn about defense.”
Longtime OFA coach Mike Sargent said that having Triche and Hymes on staff is a great plus for the camp.
“Brandon and Alshwan are so patient with the kids,” Sargent said. “And the kids want to do everything they say.”