Things have changed quickly in the life of Bulls rookie forward Doug McDermott.
One year, he was about to quit playing basketball, and the next two, he was winning Iowa state championships with his high school team in Ames.
Contact information ( * required )
One minute, he was chosen 11th in this year's NBA draft by the Denver Nuggets, and the next, he was headed to Chicago to play for the Bulls.
"Even if things aren't going your way, there's always change and there's always hope," McDermott told about 90 campers Wednesday during his first appearance at Bulls/Sox Academy in Lisle. "Things can change that quickly if you just put in the work."
In a question-and-answer session, McDermott shared the secret to "how you get good at shooting three-pointers" for 6-year-old camper Charlie Gurgone of Lisle.
"It's a lot of reps," McDermott said. "When you're young, you're trying to go out as far as you can, just to see how far you can shoot it. But it really starts with your form, being up close and working on your form shot."
While McDermott signed autographs on Creighton hats, Bulls posters and even the shoes off campers' feet, other participants practiced their shooting form or played the free-throw game knockout.
When Charlie and his 8-year-old brother Connor, both Creighton fans because their grandfather attended the school, stepped up to the autograph line, they were ready with gear from McDermott's college and pro teams.
"When the draft happened, they were so excited that he ended up getting traded to the Bulls," the boys' mother Stephanie Gurgone said. "Like screams in the house happy."
Nicole Mauriello, a 14-year-old camper from Frankfort, also was happy to meet McDermott, a player whose three-point shooting she admires and whose "attractive" looks she enjoys.
"It was pretty cool because him and Kyle Korver are my idols," Nicole said. "I look up to them a lot."
She's not the only one comparing McDermott to Korver, a fellow Creighton product and former Bulls forward. McDermott said he's studying film of Korver playing for the Bulls as he works with coach Tom Thibodeau.
So how close is McDermott to Korver, Nicole asked.
"I'm actually getting dinner with Kyle tonight, so it's crazy you say that," McDermott said. "He went to Creighton, he's an Iowa guy, so he's kind of like a mentor to me."