Local athletic legends host community basketball youth camp

Published: Jul. 22, 2022 at 7:07 PM CDT
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BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - Local athletic legends on the coast came together to give back to the community with the Beverly Coleman Basketball Skills Camp at the Kroc Center in Biloxi.

Kids learned the fundamentals of basketball and teamwork while keeping themselves out of trouble. Whether it’s working on passes or their form, kids that took part in the youth basketball camp all took on the goal of improving their skills.

Players attended the camp with intentions of becoming better basketball players. Little did they know, coaches also intended on helping them become better people and giving them better opportunities.

“I felt like I needed to do something. So I reached out to the coach and he invited me to do a camp for the little kids, because it starts with the little kids,” said MGCCC Athletics Hall of Famer Beverly Coleman.

Planners said kids gaining new role models along with new skills is always a slam dunk.

“A lot of these kids come from single parent homes, so coaches are a vital piece of what we’re doing here today. They are the mentors and future shapers of minds if you will,” said Tee McCovey, CEO of United Way for Jackson & George Counties.

Kids of ages 8-10 learned terms like alley-oops and assists. They also learned alternatives to the streets.

“High school, professional, whatever, it gives them something to look forward to besides being on the streets and doing anything,” said local coaching icon Bobby Joe Jones.

Volunteers said along with gaining character, sports can sometimes be a gateway to higher education.

“My dad always told me to use it as a tool to get to college, and then from college, I can use my academics and stuff like that,” said volunteer Juan Santiago.

The athletic legends said overall, sports is beneficial for the students, the streets and the school system.

“If you have a good sports program, you’re going to get more students. So, sports is important whether it’s physically, mentally, or whatever it may be. Sports is a way of life,” said coaching icon, William Jones.

Coaches plan to make the event an annual tradition.

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