Meridian Star

Sports

July 2, 2014

Former Tide player hosts free basketball camp

YORK, Ala. — Former University of Alabama basketball player Marcus Campbell is looking to give back to his community with a free, two-day basketball camp today and Thursday.

Campbell, a Livingston High School alumnus who played under former Crimson Tide head coach Wimp Sanderson, will host the camp in the gymnasium of Sumter Central High School from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. today and from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday.

“The beauty is seeing kids come in and interact with kids from different counties and states,” Campbell said. “We’ve had kids come all the way from Detroit, and their family later called and let me know what a great time their nieces and nephews had.”

Registration is open to boys and girls from the fifth through 12th grade and will take place from 8 to 9 a.m. in the Sumter Central gym. Parents will be required to sign a waiver. Following the two-day camp, each camper will receive a T-shirt and trophy, and campers who stand out will be eligible for additional rewards.

A former ASHAA Class 4A MVP and state champion from the 1987 Livingston team, Campbell played basketball in Europe for eight years after college before an ACL tear ended his career. Now, Campbell serves as a country commissioner in Sumter County and tries to help youth looking to excel in basketball, which is why the camp doesn’t cost campers anything.

“You have situations where some kids are excellent athletes but may not be able to afford the cost of what you pay at most camps,” Campbell said. “Maybe they can pick up something that could help them turn into a decent or even great basketball player. It’s vital for kids to take advantage of every opportunity available to them. I’m thanking God we’re entering into our 14th year.”

Former NBA standout Charles Oakley will be on hand to help coach the children, as will former Alabama standouts Erwin Dudley, Brian Lancaster and Ernest Brown. In the past, former Mississippi State basketball player Mario Austin has helped with the camp.

“We have had a ton of great athletes who have come out and devoted their time to give back to the community,” Campbell said.

Campbell said the camp is meant to promote not just basketball fundamentals, but life and citizenship skills as well.

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