Youth learn basketball basics in a Christian environment

Published 8:09 am Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Not all area youth see summer as a time for heading to the beach or to chill out and take things easy.

Giving up a little beach time, television viewing time and forgoing a host of other activities earlier this month, more than three dozen boys and girls attended the eighth annual Manteo Baptist Church Summer Basketball Camp in Manteo.

Promoted as the perfect place for both novice and seasoned players, camp organizer and former Manteo High School boys varsity basketball coach Bud Hendrix ran the week-long summer camp within the Manteo Baptist Church gym on the basketball court located behind the church building at the intersection of 406 U.S. Highway 64 and Ananias Dare Street in Manteo.

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Almost any athlete will tell you that the pathway to success requires first mastering a series of basic skills. Operating on the basic theme that with God all things are possible, Hendrix takes things one step further, saying that you can love the game and love yourself.

Keeping the main thing the main thing, Hendrix challenged athletes to make a positive impact on the court and in the world while at the same time having plenty of fun. To meet that end, Hendrix once again assembled a team of coaches with considerable skill and experience to provide each participant with an understanding of basketball fundamentals in a Christian environment.

And by all accounts, the week was a success.

“I thought camp was awesome,” said Manteo Baptist Church Student Pastor Donnie Joyner. “The kids behaved themselves well beyond my expectations. And to have the opportunity to learn from somebody with the knowledge and experience of Coach Bud is just an outstanding opportunity for these kids.”

Joyner went on to say that with basketball coaches from local schools part of the camp staff, the week was also a great chance for kids to show their stuff – a benefit echoed by Manteo Middle School student Kelley Cook.

In fact, she said her favorite part of the was being bumped up to the 13 and 15 age group.

“I like playing with the older kids,” said Cook, who was at her fourth year of camp. “And the coaches know me and that I work real hard.”

A stable of experienced coaches may have been part of the draw for several young athletes. It was for Amyas Kenyon.

Kenyon, also a Manteo Middle School basketball player, said he learned a lot more about the game, some of the moves, better ball control, correct form to make better shots and boxing out the defense.

“It’s a good camp to attend,” added Kenyon. “This is my third time and this one was definitely the best.”

But, as in years past, participants came to this camp to learn more than just basic basketball skills.

“I came to learn how to be better player,” explained Kenyon. “I came to get better at the game and learn more about Jesus.”

“I love how we play basketball and learn about Jesus,” added Cook.

Hendrix made sure that in addition to spending time on the court working on basketball skills, everyone participated in small group devotional sessions each day.

“It’s not just about basketball,” explained Hendrix. “We had a devotion every day.”

Hendrix said all the basics were covered on the court. In addition to passing, dribbling, shooting and rebounding, time was spent on teamwork – for both offense and defense.

“We covered the whole spectrum of basketball,” added Hendrix.

Hendrix then saw to it that more than basketball was covered by inviting a number of people from the church to speak, including church deacons and the church’s student pastor.

“Today (July 12) we had a video devotion with NBA players giving their testimonies,” Hendrix continued. “I think our kids enjoyed that as much as anything.”

Hendrix then added that the goal was to have everybody get involved.

“It was a team effort,” said Hendrix. “I think it helped this be the best camp we’ve had in eight years. “The kids were the most attentive and we had the most attendance. It was just a fun week.”



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