By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
THE oldest camp in the Bahamas, the 28th version of the Jeff Rodgers Basketball Camp is set for June 29 to July 24.
The camp, held 9am to 1pm daily at the Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium, will cater to boys and girls between the ages of five and 19 and will use as its theme: ‘Building Healthy Bodies with a Positive Mind.”
Camp director Jeff Rodgers said they are looking forward to another exciting camp with the return of a number of celebrity basketball players and coaches stopping in periodically during the month.
This year, Rodgers said the camp will partner with Baha Mar, who have agreed to host some of the NBA players in their way of supporting the community.
“I had a meeting with Baha Mar, who was at my Fun Night, and they were pleased with how the community came out and supported it, so they are committed to sponsoring the guys when they come over this year,” Rodgers said.
In addition to Baha Mar, the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, the South Bahamas Conference of Seventh Day Adventists, Bahamas Business Solutions, Scotiabank, Royal Bank, JS Johnson, Bahamas First, ZNS, Colina, Bamboo Shack, Caribbean Bottling Company Limited, Chelsea’s Choice and Jewel’s Party Supplies are the sponsors.
While the focus will continue to be placed on the participants in the camp, Rodgers said they will be encouraging the parents, especially the fathers, to come out and spend some time with their children as they get a first hand view of exactly what takes place.
“I think one of the things that is lacking is that parents don’t have the time to do things with their kids,” Rodgers said. “They send their kids out, but we will put on a father-son, mother-daughter camp for them to come out and spend a day at the camp.
“It will be free of charge, but we want to give them a feel of the camp as they get a chance to interact with their kids.”
Since 1987, Rodgers has staged the camp, which provides an opportunity for the young children to engage in some wholesome sporting activities during the summer months. At the same time, they get to develop their skills.
“Over the years, wherever I travel, either in Nassau or in the Family Islands, people always tell me about the experience their son or daughter had in attending the camp,” Rodgers said. “So it’s a lot to be thankful for and I won’t want to put a price tag on the benefits that have been derived from the camp.”
A number of the instructors got their start in the camp as participants. But Rodgers said they went on to develop their skills and they have returned to lend their expertise to the younger players who are following in their footsteps.
Throughout the camp, Rodgers said current NBA players like Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala from the Golden State Warriors as well as Eric Gordon from the New Orleans Pelicans and Jordon Clarkson from the Los Angeles Lakers, are expected to make an appearance.
And Thompson’s father, Mychal ‘Sweet Bells’ Thompson and fellow Bahamian Rick Fox, who both played with the Lakers, will be among a list of former NBA legends who are also scheduled to make an appearance at the camp.
Some of the others are Tyrone ‘Muggsy’ Bogues of the Charlotte Hornets, Calvin Murphy of the Houston Rockets, Clyde ‘The Glide’ Drexler from the Portland Trailblazers, Gus Williams from the Seattle Supersonics and Byron Scott, a former player now coach of the Lakers.
Each camper who registers will receive a t-shirt and basketball shorts. Forms are currently available at the Seventh Day Adventist office on Tonique Williams-Darling Highway during office hours 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday. The office number is 341-4021.