BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) – Local sports legends from the coast have come together to give back to the community with the Beverly Coleman Basketball Skills Camp at the Kroc Center in Biloxi.
The kids learned the basics of basketball and teamwork while staying out of trouble. Whether it’s passing skills or their form, the youngsters who participated in the youth basketball camp have all set themselves the goal of improving their skills.
The players attended the camp with the intention of becoming better basketball players. Little did they know that the coaches also intended to help them become better people and provide them with better opportunities.
“I felt that I needed to do something, so I contacted the coach and he invited me to do a camp for little kids, because it starts with little kids,” said MGCCC Athletics Hall of Famer Beverly Coleman.
Planners said kids learning new role models as well as new skills is always a slam dunk.
“A lot of these kids come from single parent families, so coaches are a huge part of what we do here today. They are the mentors and future mind-shapers if you will,” said Tee McCovey, CEO of United Way for Jackson and George Counties.
Children aged 8 to 10 learned terms like alley-oops and assists. They also learned about alternatives to the street.
“High school, pro, whatever, it gives them something to look forward to besides being on the streets and doing whatever,” said local coaching icon Bobby Joe Jones.
According to the volunteers, in addition to gaining character, sport can sometimes be a gateway to higher education.
“My dad always told me to use it as a tool to go to college and then after college I can use my academics and stuff like that,” said volunteer Juan Santiago.
Sports legends said that overall, sport is good for the students, the streets and the school system.
“If you have a good sports program, you will have more students. So sport is important, whether it’s physically, mentally or whatever. Sport is a way of life,” said training icon William Jones.
The coaches plan to make this event an annual tradition.
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