ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 07: Shabazz Napier #13 of the Connecticut Huskies celebrates on the court after defeating the Kentucky Wildcats 60-54 in the NCAA Men's Final Four Championship at AT&T Stadium on April 7, 2014 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Shabazz Napier is now a member of the Miami Heat but he's on a short break between the summer league schedule and the start of the season. In the meantime, he's returned to Connecticut, where he spent the last four years helping the Huskies win two national titles.
This week, he's working camps for All Pro Sports.
"I was one of those kids growing up, inspired by Antoine Walker at his camp and a lot of other camps I went to, so for me to be in the position now -- it's something that I'm grateful for," Napier told the Hartford Courant's Dom Amore. "I appreciate it. Those kids that inspire me because I inspire them. That's just something beautiful to know.
"At their age I didn't know better. You just try to give them the basics and just let them enjoy the basketball, because at this stage the sport is supposed to be enjoyed. When you get older, you realize that it's more business. You just try to enjoy as much basketball as you can at this age."
Napier found out about the business side of the game almost immediately after he was drafted. Originally selected by the Hornets, he was traded to the Heat where the hope was that the addition of a top-flight point guard would entice LeBron James to stay in Miami. It didn't work and now the Heat have gone from perennial playoff team to finding themselves smack dab in the middle of a the rebuilding process.
As for what Napier needs to do to get better, the answer's pretty simple.
"Everything," he said. "I don't pick on one thing. Everything -- my decision-making, my shot selection, everything about it. Going into a new offense, a new organization, there's new schemes you've got to learn. Some of the schemes we did at UConn, they're not teaching in Miami. So I'm trying to understand and adjust to that organization, their rules and their schemes. It's something you've got to learn and it's not going to come quickly. It's going to come in time."
The sooner the better, as far as the Heat are concerned. But if college is any guide, it won't take Napier long to be a difference maker.