ALBANY — Chris Cameron grew up in Albany where he learned the game of basketball and was always hungry for opportunities to grow in the sport he loved.
For the 15th straight summer, Cameron is giving kids in Southwest Georgia that same opportunity. Cameron, who is in eighth year as the Albany State men’s basketball coach, is holding his 15th annual Chris Cameron Jr. Rams Basketball Camp this week, and registration is still open.
The camp, which runs Wednesday through Friday, is the staple of Cameron’s summer youth basketball programs and will focus on teaching the fundamentals to kids ages 4-17.
“I didn’t have these same type of opportunities growing up,” said Cameron, a Dougherty High grad who went on to play basketball at Tulane and professionally overseas. “This is a great way to come and learn the basic basketball fundamentals. We can instill some knowledge to somebody as small as 4 years old and also give somebody as old as 17 some knowledge of the game.
“We are very versatile with what we provide in terms of teaching basketball. We just want to be a resource for the community to where if somebody is interested in this sport, they can come and learn the fundamentals of the program.”
The camp originally began in 1999 at Dougherty High but has since been moved to ASU’s HPER Gym, where it has been held annually since 2002.
ASU coaches and players will work closely with campers, who will compete in shooting competitions, skill development and 5-on-5 games and will each receive a camp T-shirt.
Cameron said the interactions between the players and kids are one of the highlights of the camp.
“It’s fun for our players,” he said. “I tell our guys all the time, ‘Like it or not you are going to be a role model for these kids because you are doing something that these kids want to do.’ A lot of the times the kids want to hang out with the players during camp, play games, listen to them and play for them. They have a lot of fun doing that.”
Cameron said the camp specifically focuses on teaching dribbling and shooting.
“We really try to teach those skills early on, because those are acquired skills,” Cameron said. “If you grow up shooting the ball the wrong way, you will have to eventually learn the right way. Plus, that’s what most kids like right now and can pick up the easiest.”
Cameron is also accepting registrations for the High School and Middle School “Elite” Skills Camp on July 19 and the Chris Cameron Shooting Camp, which is held each Friday.
The Jr. Rams Camp costs $45 for kids ages 7-16 and $30 for ages 4-6; the Elite Skills Camp is $25 per camper and lasts from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and the Shooting Camp is $10 per session.
For more information, call (229) 430-4756 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for an application.