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Elite Showcase an Experience for EFSC Basketball Player Ben Patrick
July 24, 2013 - Rising sophomore Ben Patrick was one of four Eastern Florida State College men's basketball players — along with Shaheed Davis, Torrance Rowe and Damion Smith — who participated in the July 20-21 All-American JUCO Showcase Elite 80 East event in Atlanta.
The Elite 80 is an invitation-only event for the nation's best junior college players who are entering their sophomore year.
Patrick, a 6-foot, 3-inch guard from Clearwater, FL, agreed to share his experiences. Here are the highlights of his trip.
After an all-day drive to Atlanta on Friday, I was anxious to get started when the camp convened on Saturday morning at the Suwanee Sports Academy. As I walked inside, I was shocked by the number of players and the size of the facilities. At 100,000 square feet, it was the perfect place to host a camp of its magnitude.
I was placed on Team 10 in the first game of the day, and we had about five minutes to meet with our assigned coach before things tipped off. Right off the bat, I could tell that the speed of the game was fast, and all the players were incredibly talented. What was equally stunning was how many college coaches were courtside scouting us — there had to be at least 50.
As the game progressed, I became more and more impressed with how well my team worked together considering we didn't even know each other's names. During our brief rests on the bench, we swapped stories and I learned that my teammates had come from as far as New York and Chicago to play in the camp. I ended up having a good game and I helped lead my team to a close and exhausting victory, but with just an hour and half until we were scheduled to hit the court again, it was all I could do to pound the Gatorade and grab a seat to watch the next game.
One of the perks of the camp was getting to see three of my EFSC teammates in action. I got to see them all, as Torrance Rowe, Damion Smith, and their team squared off against Shaheed Davis and his team. I watched Torrance cross up his defenders and make plays, Damion hit threes and slash to the basket, and Shaheed make his impact felt on both sides of the floor. Seeing them do this against the best players in the country made me excited about our chances in the upcoming year, with so many other talented players joining us this fall.
When the camp ended, I had been through four intense bouts on the court in less than 24 hours. My team won all our games and I had played in front of hundreds of Division I coaches, including Rick Pitino of 2013 NCAA national champion Louisville.
Looking back at the weekend I am incredibly grateful to our head coach Jeremy Shulman for helping me get invited to the camp. His tireless work in putting together our team and helping us get better on and off the court is what makes me proud of my decision to be a part of EFSC. Displaying the fruits of my hard work in front of so many coaches was a priceless experience, and seeing my fellow teammates in action makes me know that EFSC is going to have a chance to bring home a national championship in the 2013-2014 season.