- The North Pole Hoops team made a trip back to Calgary, Alberta earlier this month…it was the third year in a row that CYDC (Calgary Youth Development Centre) hosted us, to learn about the province’s young rising talent.
Founded by John Hegwood, CYDC is a year round program with a key focus on skill development and teaching the fundamentals of the game. Hegwood, originally from Gary, Indiana was a basketball star at then nationally-ranked University of San Francisco in the early eighties, where he played along size seven footer Bill Cartwright (Chicago Bulls).
In his career, the 6’5 Hegwood played against the likes of Julius (Dr. J) Erving, Ervin Magic Johnson, David Robinson, Isaiah Thomas, Dominique Wilkins, Michael Jordan, John Starks, Mark Aguirre, and Hakeem Olajuwon to name a few.
A dual sport athlete, Hegwood was drafted by both the Toronto Blue Jays and San Diego Clippers (now L.A Clippers) in 1982. Following his professional basketball career that gave him the opportunity to travel the world, Hegwood is now continuously giving back to the Calgary basketball community by opening opportunities for youth.
In 2009, he was named Calgary Citizen of the year for his work.
At the 2013 Northern Exposure Camp, Hegwood invited former NAIT coach [2008-2011] Don “Tex” Phillips to spearhead the skill development sessions. Phillips is also a former NCAA player at the University of Wyoming, and later at Brandon University, where he captured a CIS national championship.
During his time at NAIT, Phillips lead the Ooks to back-to-back ACAC championships, along with fifth and seventh place finishes at nationals.
The Northern Exposure Camp provided student-athletes aspiring to play at the next level with insight on what it takes from an academic, work ethic and skill development stand point.
The following video is a feature that covers the CYDC program and the weekend at a glance: