‘Do things the right way’

Published 10:50pm Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Boys and Girls Club holds basketball camp

Samson Worrell was a basketball standout and 2013 graduate of Lakeland High School who benefited from the Boys and Girls Club since he was 8 years old.

When he heard the organization wanted to get local schools involved in its events, he knew he could help.

Coach Clint Wright supervises 16-year-old Tyjuan Armstrong's technique as he puts the ball up. Twelve-year-old Theodore Justice, left, heads back around to the waiting line of campers during the Boys and Girls Club Impact Basketball Camp on Wednesday at John F. Kennedy Middle School.
Coach Clint Wright supervises 16-year-old Tyjuan Armstrong’s technique as he puts the ball up. Twelve-year-old Theodore Justice, left, heads back around to the waiting line of campers during the Boys and Girls Club Impact Basketball Camp on Wednesday at John F. Kennedy Middle School.

Worrell then approached Lakeland coach Clint Wright about leading a basketball mini-camp. “He asked if that was something that I could do, not necessarily for him, but for the Boys and Girls Club,” Wright recalled recently.

Wright began working the Boys and Girls Club Impact Basketball Camp on Wednesday at John F. Kennedy Middle School.

Reggie Carter, the director of the Suffolk unit of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Southeast Virginia, explained its mission and how the camp helps meet its goals.

The club aims to enable young people, whether they are from low-income households or come from homes where both parents have full-time jobs or from homes in which one parent has been deployed with the military.

In the time the kids are with the club, the goal is to help them “reach their full potential as responsible, productive, caring citizens” by helping encourage academic success, character and citizenship and healthy lifestyles, Carter said.

Worrell, who was the Suffolk unit’s 2013 Youth of the Year, said the club gave him an escape route from gangs and other negative influences.

It gave him a positive outlook and “helped me and encouraged me to succeed in school.”

The club also introduced mentors into his life to help work through personal issues.

“Mr. Reggie really helped me (around) my 10th – 12th grade years,” Worrell said.

There are about 40 youth in the camp between the ages of 8-16, and Carter expects that what Wright has planned this week will help develop their character and their health.

Wright said, “I think what’s going to be most beneficial is the structure.”

“One of the key questions I’m going to ask is, ‘How many of you want to play college basketball?’” he said.

If there are hands raised, the follow-up question will be, “What are you doing to prepare for yourself?”

Worrell hopes the camp will help participants “see how much they’ve got to work if they want to play basketball at the next level.”

Wright’s experience coaching high school and playing at the college level will help, he said.

Wright will communicate to the kids that their ambitions must be joined by proper discipline and structure.

“You’ve got to do things the right way, and do it the right way all the time,” Wright said.

During Wednesday’s session, nine-year-old Demari Williams, who is new to the sport, said, “I learned to shoot.”

Wright helped some older players with more experience expand their abilities.

Theodore Justice, 12, said he had eight years of experience with the Amateur Athletic Union, but noted that Wright taught him “how to dribble and how to shoot with my left and right hand.”

Sixteen-year-old Tyjuan Armstrong, with four years of prior experience, also developed his left-handed skills.

Carter said he would measure the success of the camp by the excitement level of the kids.

“I think that would be the success for me, just see them having a great time, being engaged, asking questions, hanging on Coach Wright’s every word,” he said.

The camp ends today with a session running from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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