Buddy Hield Returns to Sacramento Refreshed, ‘Can't Wait to Get to Work'

SACRAMENTO -- Buddy Hield gets it. The Sacramento Kings shooting guard is hosting a youth basketball camp at Harwood Palace in Rocklin, California on Thursday and Friday.

Full of energy, the 26-year-old got in on the action, engaging with the campers and doing the drills.

With balls rolling all over the court, Hield took a few minutes out of his busy schedule to chat about his summer, including his trip to Italy.

"The trip was fun," Hield told NBC Sports California. "Being at an NBA crossover and learning about Italy's culture - the food, the music - I got to do a little vacation on Lake Como. It was beautiful."

Hield brought his girlfriend and his young daughter along for the trip and the group even made a stop in to watch former teammate Jack Cooley play in a game for Dinamo Sassari of the LBA.

"Jack was cool, he's playing the same way he did when he was in Sacramento - being a bully," Hield said of Cooley. He's doing the same thing, offensive rebounding like crazy."

Cooley set it up so Hield and his family could sit courtside. The two still have a strong bond after playing together during the 2017-18 campaign. When Cooley heard Hield was coming to town, he reached out.

Following the season, the players scattered all over the globe, but Hield said that he and his teammates have been texting back and forth throughout the offseason when they aren't around each other.

Harrison Barnes, who is still mulling over his $25 million player option, has reached out a couple of times to make sure that everyone is following through with their summer program and on the right track.

It's a veteran move by Barnes, but it's one of the reasons the Kings chased the forward at the trade deadline. Entering his fourth NBA season, Hield is eligible for an extension this offseason. The team has been quiet on the possibility of locking up the sharpshooter, but those talks could heat up later in the summer.

"We'll see, man, whatever God bless me with," Hield said. "If it happens, it happens, I've just got to keep working. It will happen when God wants it to happen."
After an erratic sophomore season, Hield took major strides last season with the Kings. He averaged 20.7 points and 5.0 rebounds per game while knocking down 42.7 percent from long range.

He established himself as one of the better perimeter shooters in the game and he would like to take another step forward this season both personally and as a team.

"It's really big, not just for me, but for the franchise and the city of Sacramento," Hield said. "You all know where we're trying to get. We were close last year, but the ultimate goal is to get to the playoffs."

Hield said that he and new head coach Luke Walton met up on Wednesday and had a very productive conversation. He'll be in back at Hardwood Palace on Friday for Day two of his camp and he also intends on participating in a Kings related camp over the weekend as well.

There is still plenty of time left in the summer. The team will formally reconvene in the first week of September, but expect to see more and more of the players as the draft, free agency and the California Classic draw near.

"I can't wait to get to work," Hield said.

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