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Little Caesars Arena Hosts Detroit Pistons Academy ‘Fantasy’ Youth Camp for The First Time

027 Pistons Camp

More than 100 youngsters from across the Detroit area are dribbling and shooting their way into the world of a rookie NBA player this month. The first of 17 Pistons Academy Summer Youth Camps across the Metro Detroit area is underway at Little Caesars Arena.

For the first time since the Detroit Pistons moved from Auburn Hills to The District Detroit, Pistons Academy is hosting a camp at the innovative sports and entertainment venue.

Detroit Pistons Director of Fan Development Geo Thomas said several participants were drawn to the sold-out camp because of its unique location. “This location gives the kids an opportunity to get a feel of what the Pistons are experiencing,” Thomas said.  

Thomas, who oversees the team’s youth basketball platform, said the camp’s name alludes to the imaginary world campers in grades 3-9 will experience this week.

The three-day co-ed camp began Monday, June 18 with an abridged version of a skills test known as the NBA Draft Combine. In the real world, the assessment takes invited prospects’ physical measurements and gauges their strength, agility, shooting skills and overall athletic capacity over four days.

After the combine, students will play in the “United Dairy Showcase Classic Tournament” and will be subsequently drafted onto teams—just like in the NBA. From there, team leaders will invite players to interview, sign a contract and report to training camp. Following a brief pre-season schedule, players will have a mini-season and playoffs.

Participants will also enjoy other benefits of a professional baller, like film breakdowns of their game performance. “They’ll get a taste of what it’s like to be a NBA star,” Thomas said. “There’ll be a whole lot of Pistons flair.”

When youth are not playing or learning about the NBA Draft, they will tour the arena, including the Detroit Pistons locker room. The Pistons Extreme Team Dunkers will also give an interactive dunk show, while team mascot and legends, like Detroit Pistons community ambassador and retired pro, Earl Cureton, will make a visit.

The playoffs will be livestreamed on the Detroit Pistons website for family and friends who cannot attend.

About The District Detroit

The District Detroit is a dynamic urban destination in the heart of Detroit. One that includes something for everyone—a dense neighborhood experience with a variety of developments alongside Detroit’s premier sports and entertainment venues. Connecting downtown Detroit to growing nearby neighborhoods such as Midtown, Corktown and Brush Park, The District Detroit is having a dramatic economic impact on Detroit and is a driving catalyst of the city’s remarkable resurgence. The District Detroit will deliver $1.4 billion in new investment to Detroit including the new Little Caesars Arena, Mike Ilitch School of Business at Wayne State University and Little Caesars world headquarters campus expansion. Additionally, new office, residential and retail spaces will continue to add momentum to Detroit’s amazing comeback for years to come.