Have you always thought back to your younger days as an athlete and asked yourself "what if?" Were you only four stars away from becoming a 5-star recruit? Are you just dying to have been a big time college basketball player? If you've got deep enough pockets, Duke and coach Mike Krzyzewski have got the answer to your dreams.
It's not just McDonalds All-Americans who are gracing Coach K Court at Cameron Indoor Stadium any more.
Coach K is making expensive exceptions for the 80 weekend warriors who paid $10,000 each to be part of his annual "K Academy" fantasy camp. They will get to pull on personalized Blue Devil warmups and play for teams coached by J.J. Redick, Jay Williams and about 20 other former Duke stars.Youngsters need not apply - you have to be 35 or older to attend the camp. But I guess you'd have to be older to afford it.
The fantasy camp doesn't fill Coach K's coffers, but instead benefits charitable causes. The camp is estimated to raise roughly $750,000, and goes towards scholarships at Duke and to the downtown Durham community center and gym.
The itinerary features the expected free throw shooting and layups along with lectures and business lessons. It also offers yet another way for the Hall of Fame coach -- who has spoken to Fortune 500 companies, written books on finding success and staged an annual leadership conference -- to promote the "Coach K" brand and broaden his appeal beyond basketball and into the board room.
Coach K doesn't coach any of the teams - he leaves that up to his former players who come back for the camp. And you won't find the snarling, intense Krzyzewski that you're likely to see pacing the sidelines during an ACC battle. No, $10,000 buys you a happy, smiling man instead. It must be a nice break for Krzyzewski and all of the Dukies that come back for the affair. The attendees also get a great memory out of it as well. Just listen to Maury Fisher, a 74-year-old real estate developer, and three-time camper.
"You talk to any of the guys that have ever met him or played with him, he's just the best," Fisher said. "It's the way he makes you feel about yourself. I'm the oldest guy, but he has a way of making you feel like you're special to him. He's been that way. ... Most of the coaches are great guys, but he's still somewhere above them in terms of his makeup and how he handles somebody."