Register now for camp with Rams basketball coach


Published: Wednesday, July 31, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 at 7:28 p.m.

Registration is underway for the third annual Pop Williams Rising Stars Fundamental Youth Basketball Camp, which was established to give children in the community a chance to participate in an organized camp at an affordable cost.

Facts

BASKETBALL CAMP

What: The third annual Pop Williams Rising Stars Fundamental Youth Basketball Camp.

When: 2-6 p.m. Aug. 9 and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Aug. 10.

Where: Eastside High School, 1201 SE 45th Terrace.

Cost: $20-$45.

Information: Call 352-339-4972 or email mrpop23@yahoo.com.

The camp will be held from 2-6 p.m. Aug. 9 and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Aug. 10 at Eastside High School at 1201 SE 45th Terrace. The camp is open to boys and girls ages 6-13, and the cost is $20 for one day and $35 for both days for one child. The camp will offer a discounted price of $45 for two children to attend the camp both days.

To register for the camp, call Williams at 352-339-4972 or email mrpop23@yahoo.com. Registration also will be held at 1 p.m. Aug. 9 at Eastside.

Campers will learn the fundamentals of basketball, including ball handling, defensive stances, passing, position drills, rebounding, setting and using screens, shooting and more.

Williams, head basketball coach at Eastside, said campers will get lunch both days and will receive a camp T-shirt. The camp also will feature guest speakers who will talk about the importance of doing well in school and staying out of trouble.

Williams said Cornelius Ingram, a former Hawthorne High School and University of Florida standout athlete, is tentatively scheduled to speak, if he is in town. Ingram is currently a free agent tight end trying to make an NFL roster during training camp, which began last week for all NFL teams.

Williams said he began having the camp three years ago to give children in the community a chance to experience what it is like to participate in a basketball camp.

"Riding around different neighborhoods during the summer, I would see different kids playing basketball and I just thought to myself that they really didn't have anywhere to go to learn the game," Williams said. "So I decided to start this camp to get the kids in the gym to teach them the basic fundamentals of the game."

Williams said the cost to attend the camp is very reasonable because he wants it to be affordable for families who can't afford to send their children to more expensive camps.

"I know a lot of kids want to know what it feels like to go to a camp, and this is my way of helping them to experience a well-organized and legitimate camp," Williams said.

Current and former Eastside players will help run the camp, including Ashlee Bryant; Tiara Lundy; Jurnee Pettigrew, who, in May, signed to play at Webber International University in Babson Park in Polk County; and Lonna Turner, who signed a scholarship this year to play at Augusta State University in Georgia after playing two years at Santa Fe College.

Former members of the Rams' boys team helping with the camp will include Kentrell Martin, Jarvis McKay, Reggie Taylor and others. Williams said rising seniors Seth Brown and Thomas Lundy are current players he expects to help with the camp.

Martin, a 2000 Eastside graduate who earned an undergraduate degree in business administration from the University of New Orleans, said he will be traveling from Tampa, where he works for Bank of America as a post-closing specialist, to help Williams with the camp. Martin said he has helped Williams with the camp each year because he knows it's for a good cause.

"He is allowing kids whose parents may not be able to afford to send them to the bigger camps to get a chance to experience going to a camp," said Martin, owner and founder of Shelly's Adventures LLC, a publishing company based in Land O' Lakes near Tampa that specializes in sign language books and other learning materials for the deaf community.

"I was once one of those kids who parents didn't have the money to send their child to a big camp, so I just want to be able to help out with this camp in any way I can."

Williams said he is appreciative of Martin and everyone involved in helping to make the camp a success, especially the camp's sponsors, which include Classic Cutz Barbershop and Salon, Eastside High School Men's Basketball, Fades & Fros Barbershop, Gainesville Custom Carpet and Cleaning Service, Mandrel Business Group Home and Shelly's Adventures.

"I couldn't do this without their help," Williams said.

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