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Our team at Sports Reach loves having the privilege to work with young athletes – not only to help them compete at a higher level, but also to share the love of Christ.  We had the opportunity to do just that Monday, June 17 – Friday, June 21 in Booneville, Ky. at our third annual Sports Reach Basketball Camp. In addition to the basketball camp, this year we added a cheer camp, allowing us to serve a total of 137 children. 

Morning basketball sessions were held for K through 5th grade students, and afternoon sessions were held for 6th through 12th grade. The athletes worked on basic basketball fundamentals such as shooting, passing and dribbling. On the last day of camp, players had the opportunity to incorporate everything they learned throughout the week in a competition day. They also had the chance to hear from strength trainer Zeb Bishop, who impressed the kids with fun strength demonstrations. 

What makes Sports Reach Basketball Camp so special, however, is what young athletes get exposed to in addition to the basketball skills – The Gospel. In between sessions, different speakers and camp leaders shared their testimonies with players. One specific young man that has attended camp all three years in a row especially stood out to Camp Director Andrew Hammond and the other leaders. 

“It was great to see that this young athlete had grown so much on the basketball court since last year, but more importantly we noticed how much he grew off the court in his maturity,” said Hammond. “The leaders brought him up in front of the rest of the camp and were able to express how proud we were of him. His face lit up and it was a special moment for everyone.”  

Additionally, what took this year’s camp to another level was adding the cheer component. Directed by Campbellsville University Cheerleading Coach Amanda Gabehart, young athletes were taught simple routines and cheerleading fundamentals. 

According to Hammond, the camp was a great success with 137 kids in attendance, especially considering the small community and school system. To wrap up the full week of camp, local residents were invited to attend a ceremony to honor the campers. 180 locals showed up and the kids were rewarded with a certificate and either a basketball or bow. Former University of Kentucky basketball player and 1998 Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four, Jeff Sheppard, came out and spoke making for a great ending to the week. 

Our team is thankful for God’s work this past week at camp! Make sure to take advantage next summer. 

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