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Boot Camp

192 pages
When Nick and Kia are invited to former Toronto Raptor Jerome "Junk Yard Dog" Williams' basketball camp in Washington, DC, they quickly discover that this is no ordinary summer hoop camp. This is a basketball boot camp that focuses on discipline and hard work. Jerome and Johnnie's father, "Sergeant Push-up" to the campers, is the no-nonsense camp director. When scrimmages begin, Nick and Kia fall victim to the antics of their teammate Jamal, a talented but troubled player who tries to win games on his own. Only after some hard lessons-and some tough losses-do the three youngsters learn that it takes everyone on the team to accomplish real success.
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Visit www.orcabook.com for more information on these titles. To book a school visit with Eric, please visit www.ericwalters.net
Eric Walters, Jerome “Junk Yard Dog” Williams and Johnnie Williams III
Text copyright ©2007Eric Walters, Jerome Williams & Johnnie Williams III
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system now known or to be invented, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication
Walters, Eric, 1957-
 Boot camp / written by Eric Walters, Jerome Williams and Johnnie Williams III.
(Orca young readers)
ISBN 978-1-55143-695-1
 I. Williams, Jerome, 1973- II. Williams, Johnnie, III III. Title. IV. Series.
PS8595.A598B66 2007 jC813’.54 C2006-906670-1
First published in the United States,2007Library of Congress Control Number:2006938765
Summary: Nick and Kia learn that teamwork can be more important than talent.
Orca Book Publishers gratefully acknowledges the support for its publishing programs provided by the following agencies: the Government of Canada through the Book Publishing Industry Development Program and the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Province of British Columbia through the BC Arts Council and the Book Publishing Tax Credit. Art direction and cover design by Doug McCaffry Front cover photograph (top) by Barbara Pedrick Front cover photograph (bottom) by Fotosearch Backcover photograph by Nick Walters
OrcaBookPublishers POBox5626,Stn.B Victoria,BCCanadaV8R฀6S4
OrcaBookPublishers POBox468 Custer,WAUSA98240-0468
www.orcabook.com Printed and bound in Canada.
10 09 08 07 • 4 3 2 1
For the teachers, mentors, coaches and parents—the role models of the world. Eric Walters
For my young friends at schools around the globe to whom I have had the pleasure of speaking about the importance of accepting differences and celebrating diversity. Johnnie Williams III
For my parents, who supported my development into a responsible father, committed husband and role model for youth around the world. Jerome Williams
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Chapter One
“Nick, are you planning on spending the entire day playing that video game?” my mother asked. “Depends,” I answered, never taking my eyes off the screen. “Depends on what?” she asked. “On whether you’ll let me.” “And how likely do you think that is?” she asked. “Not likely.” “There must be a dozen things you could do,” my mother suggested. “I can think of at least fifteen.” “You can?” “Sure. That’s how many different games I own. I could change to another game if you’d like.”
My mother made a little puffing sound. I didn’t need to look at her face to know what her expres-sion would be. “How long before Kia is back from holidays?” she asked. “Saturday or Sunday at the latest.” “You’re allowed to do things without her.” “I know that. It’s just that pretty welleverybodyis away on holidays…Jordan, Mark, Tristan… everybody.” “You could do something on your own.” “Iwas doing something on my own until you walked into the room.” She made that sound again. “I’m just making dinner now,” she said, “and after that I’m expecting the game to go off.” “Sure, whatever, no problem.” There was no point in arguing. “After dinner I’m driving you to the community center. I forgot to mention I signed you up for a dance class.” “You did what?” I asked in shock, my head jerk-ing up and away from the game. “Just kidding,” my mother said, and she started laughing. “You had me worried for a second.” 2
“I wouldn’t sign you up for dance lessons.” “That’s good to know,” I said, putting my attention back on the game. I was doing really well. “At least I wouldn’t sign you up without tell-ing you.” Suddenly I didn’t feel so reassured. “But,” she said, “if you don’t start doing something on your own, I might find some-thing for you to do, and I don’t mean that to sound like a threat.” “Too late for the not sounding like a threat part.” “Just think through what you might want to do. What about going away to a camp?” “You mean like a canoeing, making crafts sort of camp?” I asked. “It could be, if you wanted.” “I don’t want.” “It could be something else. They have lots of different types of camps. Just think about it.” “Sure, I’ll think about it.” Thinking about it was a lot different than doing it. Then again, did they have video game camps? “Just consider possible options and we’ll 3