It has been an exciting couple days for the Penn State men's basketball team and rising senior guard D.J. Newbill. After a successful showing at the Kevin Durant Skills Academy in Washington last weekend, the Big Ten's second-leading scorer received an invite Wednesday to the LeBron James Skills Academy beginning July 9 in Las Vegas.
The event features the Top 30 collegiate and Top 80 high school players from around the country and runs July 9-12. Players will have four days of competitive skills workouts and 5-on-5 games, taking what they learned at previous skills academies and showcasing it in a team setting.
Newbill was playing pick-up ball with his fellow 2014-15 Nittany Lions Wednesday evening and saw he had a missed call when they were finished. Upon listening to the voicemail, the Philly product, learned of his invite and shared the news with Geno Thorpe, John Johnson and Jordan Dickerson, who shared in his excitement.
“I was happy to be invited to the Kevin Durant academy to play with some of the top guys in the country, and now I am ecstatic to be invited to the LeBron camp,” Newbill said. “This shows that all the hard work from the last few years is paying off and I am grateful to my teammates and the coaching staff for helping me to get to this point."
Newbill will leave Tuesday for the trip to Vegas and begin action Wednesday where he will take advantage of the opportunity to learn from some of the best players and coaches from around the country.
“I am looking forward to the challenge of playing with and against the best players in the country,” he said. “This camp can only help me get better.”
Newbill finished last season leading the Nittany Lions in scoring with 17.8 points per game and was second in the conference in scoring en route to All-Big Ten and NABC All-District honors. The 2014 Team MVP also surpassed the 1,000-point mark and became the third Nittany Lion in program history to post back-to-back seasons with 500 points.