Kids get coached by pro - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Kids get coached by pro

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June 28, 2007

Thomasville--  A hometown hero is back in Thomasville this week.  Thomasville native and 1993 heisman award winner Charlie Ward was back in his hometown for the 10th annual Charlie Ward basketball camp.  Boys and girls of all ages learned basketball fundamentals, and some life lessons to go along with them. 

 Ask these kids their goals and dreams, you'll likely get a similar answer from all of them.   "I want to go to the nba, " says Robert Carter, an 8th grade camper.  What kid doesn't want to be a superstar?  But having one who grew up in the same town they did makes the dream seem possible.

"It's always great to come back to where I grew up and share what I've been doing and what I've learned over the years," says Ward.  It's the 10th year he's come back to host the camp, and for many of these kids, it's the highlight of the year.

This is Robert Carter's 4th year and he says he learns new things every time.  "When we do the drills they teach us new things to do, to work on when we're at home, when we're not at the camp. And then we get better and better," explains Carter.

But the goal is bigger than that.  "We try to teach more than just basketball skills although we do teach them that we try to teach them life principles as well," says Coach Bill Gerber.  During the two days of the camp they've heard from several speakers like law enforcement officers, coaches, Ward's wife spoke on the importance of nutrition.

Ward himself spoke to them about basketball, his faith, and the importance of education.  "Hopefully it will inspire them to go to college and do the best that they can in college. Whether its basketball or, do well in school so they can get a scholarship," he says.

Ward hopes one day there will be another camp bearing the name of one of these young players, and perhaps another sign, declaring this their alma mater.  "I'm waiting for some of the younger guys that we're training to go on and do their thing and come back and take it over so it's kind of like passing a torch," Ward says.  A torch and a dream that burns bright in each of these aspiring athletes. 

The Charlie Ward camp costs around $100 per athlete, but support from local sponsors allow the camp to charge campers only a fraction of that fee, so everyone has a chance to attend.

 

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