BEDFORD, N.Y. Taj Fingers basketball road has wound its way from Fox Lane High School to Stanford University and to a professional career in Japan, but the Bedford native will be back home this summer to share his life experiences and basketball knowledge with the next generation of players at the Taj Finger Basketball Camp.
I loved going to basketball camps when I was younger, said Finger, who is currently playing for the Oita Heat Devils in the Japanese BJ League. I really learned a tremendous amount from all the different camps I attended and they definitely played a major role in my development as a basketball player.
Finger was a four-year starter and captain at Fox Lane in the early 2000s, graduating in 2004 and moving on to Stanford where he played from 2004-2008. Finger led the Foxes to a Section 1 championship in 2004.
As a senior at Stanford, Finger posted career-high averages of 5.9 points and 4.4 rebounds per game while shooting 55 percent from the field as the Cardinal advanced to the NCAA Tournaments Sweet 16 for the first time in seven seasons.
After graduating, Finger, a 6-foot, 8-inch forward, embarked on a pro career, playing for the German team BG74 and most recently for the Devils.
I have played professionally in three extremely different countries; Norway, Germany and Japan, which for me has been very exciting, because honestly, basketball is basketball, Finger said. Maybe some countries focus more on defense or have slightly different styles, but in the end it's the same game you've played your whole life. That's why being able to experience different cultures and learn about peoples lives in these different countries has been the most interesting thing about playing overseas.
Fingers camp is open to boys ages 10-15 and will be held at his alma mater Fox Lane Middle School, July 9-13 and July 16-20.
At camp they taught you what you needed to know to become a better player and how to practice those things to improve your game, which is exactly what I want to do with my camp; teach kids not only how to play, but how to practice so you can play better, Finger said. To a young player, I can't stress enough working on the fundamentals of the game. It may be boring, but it's what separates the okay players from good players and good players from great players.
For information, log on at www.tajfingerbasketballcamp.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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