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Penn State Basketball: Newbill Hoping To Bring Back Lessons From LeBron Camp

by on July 18, 2014 2:00 PM

It's not everyday that you get to play basketball with LeBron James.

It's even more rare that you're doing it during a free agency period that has the world on edge as James selected his new basketball home.

But for Penn State guard DJ Newbill who was invited to James' skills camp in Las Vegas he was just focused on the moment.

“It was cool,” Newbill said at the Bryce Jordan Center on Wednesday. “We actually played on the same team, me and LeBron, so it was kind of like give him the ball and stayed out of the way kind of. But it was cool just chatting with him for a little bit. He’s a real down to earth guy, real humble.”

As far as James' then-pending free agency, Newbill says he and his fellow campers were instructed to stay away from questions related to that. Even so, Newbill remarked that it was obviously something they were all interested in.

"I didn't know," Newbill said smiling when asked if he had the inside scoop. "We weren't supposed to ask about it."

The experience should be a good one for Newbill who will have to shoulder a lot of the burden this upcoming season. The entire Nittany Lion roster is currently on campus, working nearly daily with pick-up games. The offseason competition ought to pay dividends down the road as the team becomes more and more familiar with all of the new faces and skills. If nothing else it gives Newbill a chance to grow as a player and help implement what he learned at camp.

“A lot of those guys were talking to me about some of the things they did with their team," Newbill said of his fellow campers. "Some of the guys were talking about how they just play a lot of pickup, just did everything together, went out together, so that’s one of the things I want to implement more on my team.

“I mean we’re all here together and everything, but I just want to do it more now.”

With so many close losses last year a few extra offseason pickup games and workouts together might be all it takes to help get the team over the hump.

As they say: When you aren't working, someone else is.

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Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for StateCollege.com. He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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