High School / Aug 26, 2010 / 5:30 pm

The Place Where Kobe, LeBron and Brandon Jennings became stars

Brandon Jennings in H.S.

Among high school and college basketball fans, the name Sonny Vaccaro rings bells nationwide. The noted power-broker has been attached to prep stars from Kobe Bryant to Brandon Jennings — he was basically Worldwide Wes before Worldwide Wes, but on an even more recognizable level within the industry’s structure.

Vaccaro has been laying low lately, but rumor has it he’s returning to the scene backed by rising sneaker company Li Ning. And if Vaccaro is back, we could see the return of his famous ABCD camp, formerly a summer proving ground where stars were made and reputations born.

Over on HighSchoolHoop.com, we look at the history of ABCD and rank the five best player to ever come through the historic camp. Read the story HERE.

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  • Heckler

    @ Dime

    where the hell is (my man) Lenny Cooke?

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    Last time I saw him, Lenny had been pro ball in Venezuela or some place in South America. He’d recently broken his leg and had gained a lot of weight while he was incapacitated, so when I saw him he was in the process of getting back in shape. This was like a couple of years ago.

  • http://www.NYtoCALI.com Aaron THe Great

    Wow.. GOOD DROP here..

  • rapTOr

    LMAO at the picture in that link….LMAO

  • http://www.94by50.com da real “RONDO”

    i’ve said it before and i’ll say it again. Sonny V is a snake and a leech. What connection does did he ever have to any relevant kids?? none. he basically comes on the scene later after someone puts like 10 years into a kid an then he is their advisor when the money is about to roll in. to top it all off, he is white! lol, how has he not been exposed for the vampire he is so far. he is a millionaire all be cause of kids from the hood that can hoop. wake up people.

  • Me

    Amazing how rondo asked a question and unknowingly answered it right after.

  • Me

    My bad I meant answered it right before.

  • http://www.centercourtbasketball.com CCB

    Rondo doesn’t have a clue about what he is saying.Sonny V is a legendary, legendary figure in the world of sneakers and basketball. The Dapper Dan which laid the foundation for grassroots basketball and people like Chris Rivers, Darren Mats, and other heads of various brands was created by Sonny V. Without Sonny Vacaro Nike would be NOTHING. Everyone in the industry understands and hell Jordan wouldn’t have been pursued as hard if Sonny V didn’t lay the foundation for him. So let’s be real here, Sonny V coming back into hoops is important. He made Nike relevant through the coach’s program that began to pay college coaches for putting sneakers on their teams which led the way to huge endorsement deals for college programs today. He signed Valvano before he was even famous and was at Iona! Rondo, don’t disrespect someone who has everything to do with the way this game is now and is one of the few who recognized the problems and steppped away. I think you see the Italian name, and his influence and you fall into the stereotype of crooked mob dude, but you need to do some research before disrespecting the man who made Nike basketball and created the grassroots system that has made basketball into America’s favorite pasttime. Damn I hate sounding like D Rider, but you have to respect the game.
    Chris B.

  • http://getyourishbusted.net Chicagorilla


    If you’re going to be a prick at least try to get your punchlines right.

    I’ll never forget the highlight of Lenny Cooke shaking LBJ at the ABCD camp and dropping the J on him. Then he scored 2 points the rest of the game lol. It was such a big matchup that the highlight was being shown on ESPN.
    Sad to hear what happened to him. He had a legit chance to be a NBa player. For some reason he reminds me of Stephen Jackson.

  • http://getyourishbusted.net Chicagorilla


    Uh no that Rondo dude is right. Sonny V is a bloodsucking leach who gets his paper off young black KIDS.

  • http://www.centercourtbasketball.com CCB

    You can add so many names to that list it isn’t funny in regard to who gets rich off of young black kids. This is the point, you guys are reaching in saying this and you don’t provide support. The Dapper Dan started in the 70’s. Nike gave Sonny money to begin signing NCAA coaches at this time because they felt he could get the job accomplished. At the time Nike was paying NBA players to wear hoops shoes and it wasn’t benefitting them at all. It didn’t benefit them until Sonny started signing college coaches to contracts. Before anyway recognized, he had a grip of colleges signed up. The other shoe companies were behind Nike. When Sonny presented Mike Jordan to Nike as a guy they should sign, they didn’t want to because Mike was a nobody. How much did Sonny get from that deal? Nothing. He basically saved Nike, because at that time Nike had laid off 400 people and they were losing ground to Reebok and that ugly aerobics shoe. When Sonny started ABCD he did out of his pocket from the small salary Nike was paying him although he was generating his own income from his events. Name one player that Sonny got money off of? The guy may have been the originator of a system that now pimps the hell out of kids, but even he realized this and pulled out of the summer events. If you want to look at people who pimp young black athletes look in your backyard at the local cats running AAU teams and recruiting and stealing players so they can get the elusive summer sponsorships. Look at the so called scouts and camp providers charging these kids 50-100 and doing nothing in return but giving them a place to run a couple of games. Sonny may be deep in the game, but I’ll bet if you ask Brandon, Kobe, Lebron and the many others who came through that camp what they think about Sonny you’ll get a different answer. I don’t even have to support this dude, it’s just that I have been involved in hoops for a long time and I’ve seen who the crooks are and it’s not Sonny.
    Chris B