Young Devils Lake hoopster meets two of basketball’s greatest players

Ray Maloney, Sports
Devils Lake High School student Morghan Carew sits alongside NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan after recently attending Jordan’s Fligh School just outside of Los Angeles.

For five days earlier this month a budding young Devils Lake High School basketball player rubbed elbows with two of the greatest legends in the history of basketball.

Morghan Carew, who will begin her sophomore year when classes get under way Aug. 25, took part in Michael Jordan’s Flight School Aug. 6-10 on the campus of UC-Santa Barbara, just outside of Los Angeles, and learned lessons from the NBA?Hall of Famer.

Another legend, Lisa Leslie, who retired from the WNBA following the 2009 season, was also a part of the school. Leslie, who starred at the University of Southern California during her collegiate days before becoming a dominant player for the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks. Leslie, whose name adorns the floor used by the Sparks at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles, was a guest speaker at the camp attended by Carew and dozens of other young basketball players from across the nation.

Okay, maybe Carew didn’t exactly rub elbows with Jordan and Leslie. After all, both stand some nine inches taller than the 5-foot, nine-inch DLHS student.

But that really didn’t matter.

“I’ve always looked up to (Jordan),” Carew said of the unforgettable moment. “I think I had tears in my eyes when we shook hands ... I couldn’t believe it was happening to me.”

Carew and the other campers spent 11 hours each day taking part in drills conducted by Jordan and the rest of the staff on hand. They also played a pair of games each day and Carew was the only girl at the camp in her age group and played games against bigger, stronger and faster boys.

“”It was a lot quicker than playing with girls,” Carew said. “I had to try to jump higher.”

Carew, who is expected to see significant playing time for the Firebirds when the basketball season opens in December, said Jordan’s message throughout the camp was a simple one.

“He kept stressing the importance of always working hard to get better and playing hard all the time,” Carew said of the teachings of Jordan, whose own legend was made famous after being cut from his high school team before a standout career at North Carolina.

Morghan Carew, left, with former WNBA great Lisa Leslie during a recent basketball camp in California.