Royce O’Neale meets young Jazz fans at basketball clinic in Salt Lake City

SALT LAKE CITY -- The Utah Jazz kicked off its summer programming for kids Monday with a Rookie Clinic at West High School.

It’s something that many kids say they’ve been looking forward to this summer.

During the camp on Monday, Jazz player Royce O’Neale made a special appearance to shake hands, sign autographs, and take questions from the kids.

This is the first time 7th-grader Colton Williams has attended a Rookie Camp. He says meeting O’Neale is a dream come true.

“It felt like someone offered me a million dollars, it’s probably even better than that,” Colton said.

O’Neale said he enjoys the camp just as much as the kids do.

“It makes me more excited, you know, I feel good, just the kids having a great time is all I care for,” O’Neale said.

Williams was going through basketball drills when he heard a special guest was going to be coming to the camp. He said he couldn’t contain his excitement when he heard that guest was Royce O’Neale.

“When he said autographs, I didn’t know what to say: I was speechless. I was just so excited,” Colton said.

O'Neale said he appreciates the passion from his fans.

“Just hearing their feedback, them saying they’re my biggest fans, just little things like that, make me feel even better,” O’Neale said.

Rookie camps are open to boys and girls ages 4-14. Coaches help each player learn and develop the skills they need to compete and have confidence on the court.

“Just have fun with it, love to play basketball, I know I do,” O’Neale said.

While Colton says he’s excited to learn new skills, meeting O’Neale was the best day of his life.

“Thank you to my grandma for signing me up for this and buying it for me,” he said.

O’Neale will now hit the road for the annual Junior Jazz Summer Road Trip to visit other clinics across the state of Utah.

To register for a camp, click here.

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