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WEDNESDAY, JUNE 13, 2007
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Rorrick Steward goes one-on-one with Decatur High assistant coach David Hewitt at the Decatur Parks and Recreation summer basketball camp at the Aquadome. Boys and girls from kindergarten through ninth grade participated in the camp.
Daily photo by John Godbey
Rorrick Steward goes one-on-one with Decatur High assistant coach David Hewitt at the Decatur Parks and Recreation summer basketball camp at the Aquadome. Boys and girls from kindergarten through ninth grade participated in the camp.

Indoor summer fun
City hoops camp gives children chance to work with varsity coaches

By Ashley Hargrove
sports@decaturdaily.com · 340-2460

Campers at this year's Decatur Parks and Recreation summer basketball camp were full of energy Tuesday morning as they got ready to participate in three-on-three drills.

It was easy to tell that this was a favorite of all the campers, because as soon as camp coach Garland Murphree told them to line up in their lines, cheering broke out.

"I like the three-on-three drills," 9-year-old Jalon Harris said. "It gives you a chance to show your ability and to show the coaches that you're improving each day."

Campers also said they're enjoying ball-handling and contests.

"I enjoy doing ball handling too," Harris said. "It's changed the way I've been playing basketball. I look forward to coming to camp every day because I love basketball. Both of my parents said they thought it would be a good way for the coaches to see my ability to do something that I love."

The week-long camp is giving 132 area children a chance to learn from the city's four high school varsity basketball coaches, including Decatur High boys coach Jamie Lee, Decatur girls coach Brad Boy, Austin boys coach Demond Garth and Austin girls coach Bruce Hamilton. Their staff of assistants help as well, along with volunteers like Murphree.

The camp is for children in kindergarten through ninth grade, and the action is taking place at the Aquadome, Fort Decatur, T.C. Almon and Oak Park.

For some of the campers, the varsity coaches may seem a bit intimidating.

"They are just pushing to get you to give your best effort," said Addi McNutt, a rising sixth grader at Cedar Ridge Middle School. "They just want the best out of you."

Chris Sparkman, a rising sixth grader at Cedar Ridge, agreed.

"Coach Lee and the coaches are trying to teach us the fundamentals of the game so that when we get in middle school and high school our coaches won't have to take the time to do that," Sparkman said. "If you behave right, you get to have fun and learn things that will help you."

Hamilton said that seeing the same campers come back every year is a compliment to the camp.

"The main reason we have this camp is to help kids," Hamilton said. "Us as coaches, we get to see the kids improve year to year.

"There are a lot of kids that play, and hopefully every camper is getting something out of it."

Murphree, who retired from full-time coaching nine years ago, is now helping his son Eddie Murphree coach basketball at Athens High. Eddie Murphree is the Athens varsity girls team.

"I love helping out with this camp," said Garland Murphree, who has helped out with camps for more than 30 years. "I feel like the coaches that head this are great people. The campers are top notch people who want to play basketball one day on a team.

"It's really an honor that they asked me to come help. I hope that I can continue helping with this camp forever."

Summer hoops camp

  • There are 132 participants in this year’s Decatur Parks and Recreation summer basketball camp, which includes children from kindergarten through ninth grade.

  • Decatur High varsity basketball coaches Jamie Lee and Brad Boy along with Austin coaches Demond Garth and Bruce Hamilton are conducting the camp.

  • The weeklong camp is at four locations, including T.C. Almon, Oak Park, Fort Decatur and the Aquadome.

    - Ashley Hargrove

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