Bronson Koenig returned to his home town, La Crosse, to host his shooting academy camp at the Boys and Girls Club of La Crosse on July 26 and 27. Koenig made it a point to have a camp in his hometown, he said.
“Growing up, I went to as many camps as I possibly could. Just because I wanted to learn as much as I could, and I just loved the game of basketball,” Koenig said.
“I remember going to the Coach Z Hoop Camp in La Crosse here every year. I also went to camps all over the Midwest. I was fifth grader playing against eight graders and high schoolers. So you know, I was just trying to play against the best competition I could.”
The current Milwaukee Buck and former Wisconsin Badger point guard is making the transition from the NCAA to the NBA. Koenig played in all the Milwaukee Bucks summer league games in Las Vegas from July 7 to 13.
Koenig held three Shooting Academy camps in Wisconsin. His first camp was held on June 27 and 28 in Johnson Creek at the Johnson Creek Sports Facility. La Crosse camp was his second camp. His third and final camp of the summer was held July 30 and 31 in Oshkosh at the Lourdes Academy.
During his shooting academy, Koenig got some help from one of his trainer Luke Meier. At his La Crosse shooting academy Koenig was joined by former Wisconsin Badger Nicole Bauman.
Meier is a trainer with Thrive 3, a Milwaukee based company, who works with basketball players at many different levels of skill throughout the state and the nation.
“My roles is that of director of the camp. I’m one of Bronson’s trainers, so I work him out. He brought me on to put the kids through all the drills, and to give them access to some of the top notch training that he’s been able to have as Big Ten and NBA player,” Meier said.
Bauman played for Wisconsin from 2012 to 2016. Last year, she played professionally in Sweden. She is from New Berlin, Wisconsin.
“I met Bronson at Wisconsin. We knew each other. He was pretty much there almost the same years as I was. And we just became really good friends,” Bauman said.
“He was running these camps, and girls were a part of it too. He was like, ‘Oh, would you want to help me out.’ It was a no brainer.”
Koenig’s shooting academy was a two-day, two-session skills camp. In the mornings, third through eighth-grade players would train from 10 am to 1 pm. In the afternoons, high school players would train from 2 to 5 pm.
“The whole point is to develop these kids, make them better shooters and make them better all-around players,” Bauman said.
“Luke does a great job of that. He’s one of Bronson’s trainers. He’s really good at know how to develop players. He gives them things that they can take home and practice at home.”
The camp focused on shooting because Bronson, as well as Bauman, are known as a shooting specialists. Koenig has the ability to make shots and hit big shots, Meier said.
“For the kids, if they have the ability to shoot the ball, it makes them way more valuable to their team. Plus it’s something fun that the kids like to do,” Meier said.
“We just want to give them the tools to get the most out of their practice. They’ll have better form. They’re going to get more out of their practice and be a better shooter, have a good experience, and learn some things.”
The younger kids learn the basic fundamentals and shoot the ball closer to the basket in the morning sessions.
“We do more fun type games to get them excited about basketball, and to have a good experience so they want to come back,” Meier said.
The high school players do a little bit more advanced skills trainings.
“We’ll talk about game situations, more advanced moves that they can use and have them play a little bit more. It’ll be more similar to what Bronson does in his workout, with the older kids,” Meier said.
Koenig’s Shooting Academy also allowed him to interact with his young fans. After each session, he’d autograph camp T-shirts, jerseys, basketballs, and even shoes.
On the last day of camp, Koenig would play one-on-one against each camper while the rest of the campers served as the timekeepers, counting down the five seconds of play. That was a camp highlight for most of the campers.
“There’s a couple different things campers enjoyed. I think playing one-on-one with the campers. They really enjoy that. And getting blocked,” Koenig said.