Atascadero High basketball standout Robbie Berwick’s star keeps on rising after being named The Tribune’s County Player of the Year this season.
The 6-foot-4 junior guard was invited to the 2013 Pangos All-American camp in Long Beach from May 31 to June 2.
The invitation-only camp showcases 100 of the nation’s top players, and its website said it serves as a “coming out” party for many of the nation’s top recruits as well as “sleepers” who may not be on the radar of coaches from prominent college programs.
Some of the past participants in the camp, which carries the motto “Where Pros are Born,” include current NBA players James Harden, Brandon Jennings, John Wall, Andre Drummond and Harrison Barnes.
Several McDonald’s All-American players attend each year and players compete against each other in series of games.
Ryan Silver, Berwick’s coach on his AAU team Pangos Elite based in Los Angeles, said that more than 100 scouts who rate participants’ skill sets will attend the camp.
Silver said the event offers a great opportunity for a player such as Berwick, who can’t get that kind of exposure in Atascadero.
“There’s no limit to Robbie’s game,” Silver said. “He’s a big, strong kid who can shoot. He has a high basketball IQ. He’s a good decision-maker on the court.”
Berwick averaged 18 points, seven assists and five rebounds per game this past season while leading the Greyhounds to a share of the PAC 7 title and a 19-9 record.
“I think the camp is a big opportunity,” Berwick said. “If you play well in this camp, you get a lot of attention and people write you up saying things like nobody knows about this guy,but he’s really good. You might get recruited not just by the mid-tier programs, but by major programs like Duke and North Carolina.”
Several college programs have recruited Berwick already. Florida State and San Diego State coaches watched him work out in Atascadero and visited his home last week.
Berwick said this week his top choices right now include UC Santa Barbara, Florida State, Stanford, San Diego State and Cal Poly.
Not all of those programs have offered him scholarships yet, though each has had talks with him and courted him. He plans to narrow down his choices by the end of summer and possibly select a school.
“I could make a decision by August or September after I make some campus visits,” Berwick said. “I’ll just have to go through the process.”
Since his high school season ended, Berwick has spent hours in the gym working on his game, often with family friend Bob Sarber there to toss him passes for jump shots. His conditioning and catch-and-shoot releases are two of his areas of focus.
Getting a chance to play against some of the nation’s elite players already in AAU ball over the past few years has enabled Berwick to develop his game amongst guys who play above the rim. His club team is the 15th-ranked team in the country.
“It’s pretty fun,” Berwick said. “When I’m playing against better, faster, bigger guys, I feel like my game goes to a higher level. And then when you get into the lane and dish it, guys finish with dunks.”
At a showcase like the Pangos camp, Berwick, who can throw down two-handed dunks of his own, says players tend to take quick shots and play less of a team game. That doesn’t suit his style, which is to try to get as many teammates involved as possible.
“That’s not the type of player I am,” Berwick said. “But sometimes I get a certain mindset. I want to stay aggressive. I want to make plays off the ball. Sometimes you have to run your own break, and dive for loose balls. That shows up on film.”
One of the ways college coaches are able to watch the camp’s action is that much of it is taped, and that video appears on websites that coaches subscribe to. Some of the filming includes the camp’s Top 20 and Top 40 games of the event’s best 20 and 40 players, respectively.
Playing amongst eight other Division I recruits on his club team, Berwick was called “a total winner” who’s “unselfish, smart and heady,” by Silver.
“He really has a complete game, and he just needs to keep working on being a great combo guard,” Silver said. “There’s not a lot he doesn’t do.”