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South Salt Lake Journal

Former NBA coach hosting local basketball camp

Dec 15, 2021 10:50AM ● By Catherine Garrett

Former NBA coach Barry Hecker, who has worked with current Jazz player Rudy Gay, will be hosting a basketball camp Dec. 27-29 in Sandy. (Photo courtesy Barry Hecker)

By Catherine Garrett | [email protected]

Utah native Barry Hecker, who coached in the NBA for more than two decades, continues to teach the game of basketball to young players. During the winter holidays, he will host a camp Dec. 27-29 from 9-11 a.m. at the Sandy Recreation Center, located at 440 E. 8680 South for boys and girls in grades fourth through seventh.

“These camps are all about the basic fundamentals of basketball,” Hecker said. “We focus on quality fundamental instruction, we work hard with a lot of discipline and structure and we have a lot of fun. When these kids walk out of there, they know they’ve been taught and improved.”

The cost of the camp is $75. Registrations are open online by visiting and clicking on “Activity Registration.”

The veteran coach, who lives in Murray, said the values he has learned from his basketball coaching journey—beginning at Oxon Hill High School in Maryland and spanning through Salt Lake Community College and stints with the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies—are invaluable. Being able to share those principles of hard work, teamwork, unselfishness and persistence, along with the physical skills of the game itself, with others thrills him.

“I don’t care who I coach or when I coach,” Hecker, who has worked with current Jazz players Mike Conley and Rudy Gay, said. “I simply enjoy teaching the game. It’s great to see a smile on someone’s face as they experience success. If you help somebody, you’ll be somebody.”

Hecker has conducted clinics all over the world for more than 40 years, including many since his retirement from coaching in the NBA. He said he particularly enjoys working with the youth.

“If you teach skills, that leads to confidence and that confidence can allow anyone to do anything they want,” he said. “I have more fun with young kids than with the pros. In the NBA, you have guys who are making millions and they don’t listen. These kids are making nothing and they’ll listen to you.”