BOONTON, N.J. — One of the biggest challenges was reminding the kids to catch with two hands.
It’s easy to forget when Odell Beckham, Jr. is around — he was, after all, responsible for one of the most iconic one-handed catches in NFL history — but for 3 1⁄2 hours at Boonton High School, 250 schoolchildren were once again taught that the road to superstardom begins with fundamentals.
“It’s been awesome,” the Giants wide receiver said Tuesday morning at the end of his one-day camp, the first he’s ever had. “This is obviously what you do it for, is to be able to inspire these guys. Seeing them out here dancing, having a lot of fun, catching passes, trying to teach them to catch it with two hands — a lot of them are out here trying to do ‘The Catch’ — but it’s honestly been a lot of fun.”
Beckham, who donned his cleats and even went one-on-one with five or so kids (he won), was sweating with the rest of them in the blistering heat. He hopes to hold more pro camps in the future, he said, and even take some back to his hometown in Louisiana, but “New York is going to be my home for a long time, so I thought I might as well start here.”
He declined to answer questions about the Giants or training camp through a spokesperson.
Participants from grades one through eight received an autograph from Beckham, along with a team picture, and were able to run various drills throughout the morning and participate in games. The cost of the camp is $349 per child, though scholarships are available.
“You’re trying to prove yourself” at these camps, Beckham said. “I just remember [when he went to a camp as a child] getting up in line and my heart is beating a little bit because you’re so excited, but at the same time, you’re nervous.”
He added: “I remember when I was a kid and I looked up to somebody . . . I can come out here and these kids look up to me and I have to try to be the best role model that I can be.”