Elmore is JE1 after attending CP3′s camp
Nobody ever will accuse Jon Elmore of spitting in Houston Rockets guard Chris Paul’s face, like an incident that landed L.A. Lakers guard Rajon Rondo a three-game suspension without pay for his part in an altercation in an NBA game this past Saturday night.
Or of spitting on his reputation.
There’s no way that will happen after how well Marshall’s star point guard was treated at Paul’s CP3 Elite Guard Camp Aug. 1-4 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Elmore was one of 24 collegiate point guards who were invited along with 25 high school point guards for the ninth edition of Paul’s camp.
“Oh, it was awesome,” said Elmore. “Working with some of the pro players that were there. Working out with Chris Paul — one of the greatest guards of all-time. It was kind of a dream come true, in a sense.
“But I was definitely able to take a lot from it. I was really glad I got a chance to be there and experience what I did.”
It’s not often that a player is mentored by a hero
But that was the case with Elmore.
“That’s a guy, as a player, you grow up looking up to,” said the 6-foot-3 senior. “A lot of guards model their game after him. I know I have taken a lot of things in my game from him. So, it was kind of a dream come true. I really didn’t want to act like a fan because I might be playing against him one day. That’s my goal — to play against him. Or play with him, whatever, we’ll see.
“I was just able to pick his brain and learn a lot from him. What really surprised me was just how cool he was. He didn’t big-time anybody. He spent time with everybody. He was super-genuine. He wanted to help everybody. I talked to him about the pick-and-roll for a few minutes. Mike D’Antoni (former MU star who is the Houston Rockets’ head coach) was there, so we all hung out and talked a little bit.
“So, that was kind of a bucket-list experience. I was able to take a lot from it.”
Elmore even got to play one-on-one against Paul.
“We played make-it-take-it,” said Elmore. “So, if you made it, the next person was up. Everybody was rotating. He got a couple of buckets on me; I got a couple. ... It was just a phenomenal experience.
“I learned a lot. I learned about the other point guards in the country, how I stacked up, and I really liked where I stood.”
Elmore brought some of Paul’s game back with him, too.
“Watching his footwork,” said Elmore, “and his ability to get anywhere on the court he wants was one of the biggest things I noticed. Just how efficient he is with his movements, whether it’s beating you with speed or just one-step misdirections, change of speeds ... stuff like that. Learned some post moves, using your body and the footwork.
“Chris Paul is probably only 6-foot-1. But you see him get his shot off over almost anybody. So, I was able to take a lot of the angles and footwork and using your body. ... I think it has elevated my game so far.”
Best of all, Elmore added Paul’s lethal pull-up jumper to his repertoire.
“I have,” said Elmore. “I’ve been taking a lot of pull-ups. Coach (Danny) D’Antoni is not big on the midrange pull-ups, but if they’re open he’s going to support those shots. I think it has been a good fit so far.”
But spittin’ image?
Chuck Landon is a sports columnist for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at email@example.com.