Basketball camp teaches more than dribbling

Published: Jun. 26, 2008 at 9:57 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 8, 2008 at 11:13 PM EDT
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By Sarah Baldwin - bio | email

June 26, 2008

THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - In the 12th year of the Charlie Ward Basketball camp, there are 300 boys and girls of varying ages and from different from hometowns.  They all have one thing in common: basketball.  "We take all kinds some probably will never play basketball, others are very skilled and we try to help them get their skills better in basketball," explained David Parrish, a coach at the camp for the last 9 years.

They're learning skills and techniques, "Dribble with you weakness instead of with you're strong hand so you'll be able to work better be able to work with both sides," said 13-year-old Khalid Jones.

Skills that will make them better at the sport they love.  "I go to Brookwood and I play basketball for the middle school, the junior varsity team.  I'll probably use some of the things they taught me," said 12-year-old Tyler Thompson.

While this week will undoubtedly help the kids become better basketball players, the real goal of the camp is to help them live better lives.   Ward said the purpose of the camp is to "Share Christian principles on how they can use basketball and academics and the way they perform on and off the court and how it plays a big part in their lives."

Passing on that knowledge is a daily goal now for Ward. From football to basketball he seems to be a master at everything, but Ward says his new career as a high school football coach has been an education.  "I'm learning a little bit more, trying to work out the kinks and see how to handle people, how to handle kids."

For these kids, just by being here he's an inspiration.  "It's cool.  You get to meet a basketball player and he shares his experience with all of us trying to become pro basketball players."

Parrish added, "We want kids to walk away with better basketball skills at the end of the week, and a better way of living life, now and for all eternity." After all it's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game. . . and how you live your life.

A lot of the kids at the basketball camp are from Thomasville and the surrounding area,  but at least 40 came down from Atlanta to be there.