TJ Cline is a North Texas basketball product who played in college at Niagara and Richmond. He’s competed professionally overseas the last two years, most recently in Israel for the Hapoel Holon club. His path to pursuing basketball for a living started, in large part, at the camps his mom, Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman, has run for many years. As he explains in the video that is the centerpiece of this blog post, the camps, which now bear his name as well, put an emphasis on developing the skills that will help kids advance their games. But there are other lessons the campers could take from Cline if they’re so inclined. He can give a realistic picture, as he does in this interview, of taking the downs with the ups in the world of basketball.
For Richmond, Cline earned Atlantic 10 Conference Player of the Year honors after his senior season. He’s played on the Bucks summer league team. He’s spent two years getting to play a game for living and see new parts of the world (in addition to the cities in the Israeli league, he’s played across Europe in inter-country competition). But he’s also seen a season cut short due to injury, been unable to break his way into the NBA, and experienced the drawbacks of making his living a long way from friends and family. He’d be a good guy for young people to talk to about the challenges and rewards of pursuing one’s dreams and trying to enjoy the journey as you do it.
The 2019 Nancy Lieberman/TJ Cline Basketball Camps happen July 15-18 and July 29-August 1 at Frisco’s Fieldhouse USA.