Tyrese Haliburton hosts two-day youth camp, now enjoys final weeks of his offseason before FIBA World Cup
"You can see the sparkle in a kid’s eye sometimes when you talk to them. That’s just the coolest thing," Haliburton said.
It’s Saturday morning and Pacers All-Star guard Tyrese Haliburton is back in Indianapolis and on the west side of town, just three miles north west of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Just two months ago, he pushed the Chevrolet pace car to 145 mph before the start of the Indy 500.
Inside The Factory, owned by the Teague family, Haliburton spent three hours with over a hundred campers who signed up for his second annual youth basketball camp. Last year’s was up in Westfield, Ind. whereas this year’s was more centrally located.
Hosting a camp makes Haliburton, 23, feel like a kid again.
He still tries to play like it, too, from racing down the floor to looking to get his teammates and throwing no-look passes to throwing up lobs or celebrating after a big step-back 3.
He’s still a kid at heart and you see that joy in his game when he’s playing. This past weekend, though, he became coach.
“That’s where my basketball love for the game and all the fun I have — it comes from kids camp,” he said as Day 1 wrapped up. “I always think back to kids camp back in Oshkosh (Wisconsin) growing up, we did that every summer. Playing with my friends, doing drills — still drills that I hold near and dear to me and do sometimes. I definitely have fond memories of kids camp growing up.”
Growing up, Haliburton didn’t have the opportunity to attend a basketball camp run by an NBA player. Those didn’t exist in Oshkosh.
“But I wish I had the opportunity to,” he said. “I hope that these kids have a lot of fun and I get to interact with them as much as possible. I hope that those are memories they can keep forever.”
In conjunction with ProCamps, which helps pro athletes host summer camps across the country, Haliburton hosted over a hundred boys and girls in grades 1 through 8 for a two-way camp. It did have a cost ($199), but he was present and actively involved.
Haliburton is sure to get get around to every basket to spend time with each group and each kid. There’s instruction, drills, some 1-on-1 play for lucky campers and scrimmages. Some are there to play and get better, while others enjoy being in the presence of a pro, an NBA All-Star.
“You can see the sparkle in a kid’s eye sometimes when you talk to them,” said Haliburton. “That’s just the coolest thing.
“Some kids here, I think they like watching basketball more than they like playing sometimes, but they’re just excited to be here. I think that’s the fun part about being a kid: You get to experiment with different sports and see what you like and what you don’t like. And they’re just having fun out here.”
This youth camp was a family affair. His mom and dad were there. So was his girlfriend. A few of his brothers helped and one of his close friends took photos. Tyrese and the Haliburton family have their eyes set on contributing other impactful community events, especially now that he’s under contract with the Pacers through the 2028-29 season.