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updated: 6/24/2011 6:23 PM

Pippen's message to campers: Work hard

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Tony Burnette had seen Scottie Pippen mostly in highlight reels of the Bulls' NBA championship runs in the 1990s -- until this week.

The 12-year-old power forward from Chicago met Pippen in person and heard the retired Bulls great's tips about ball-handling, rebounding, passing and defense at a basketball camp run by the Bulls/Sox Training Academy in Lisle.

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The main lesson he came away with: "Work hard."

"I learned to work hard from him. He told stories of winning championships and I want to win some championships," Tony said.

Pippen said he tried to share lessons in both basketball and life with the 130 campers who received his coaching. Although he may have stressed defensive effort -- with his eight career nominations to the NBA's all-defensive first team -- he also stressed the importance of enjoying the game.

"I wanted to be a presence here and try to make it as fun for them and me as possible," Pippen said.

Shoes squeaked and balls bounced as sweating and smiling campers scrimmaged Friday on the last day of the camp Pippen was coaching. The former Bull watched from the scorer's table as teams went on fast breaks or played some tough D.

Omer Perocevic, a 13-year-old shooting guard from Chicago, called the camp and the experience of meeting Pippen "phenomenal, really great."

"It's great to meet Scottie," Omer said. "I learned a lot of things from Scottie -- how to rebound, how to box out, how to shoot confidently with form."

Omer and Tony both called Pippen a role model.

Tony, who plays power forward on a traveling team affiliated with the academy, said with some improvement to his shooter's touch, he could someday play the perimeter just as Pippen did.

"I think Scottie will help me because we kind of play the same position," Tony said. "I just need to work on my shooting."

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