Young Maricopa hoopsters will get the chance to participate in a professional basketball camp this September.
Local resident and Harlem Globetrotter, Anthony Blakes, is offering the first of what he hopes will be a long line of Maricopa basketball camps.
“Kids in Maricopa shouldn’t have to drive to Phoenix to participate in a professional camp,” Blakes said.
The camp will be held at the Ak-Chin Community Recreation Center on Sept. 13-14. Each of the two days will feature two, three-hour sessions divided by age. There are 40 available slots in each session. The first hour of the camp will focus on education; the second on basketball skills, and the third will be actual play.
“I am big on the student athlete concept, that is why the classroom portion of the camp is important,” Blakes said.
In order to reinforce Blakes’ commitment to the educational portion of the camp, he has comprised a staff of professional players and coaches who all have educational degrees.
Rounding out the staff are current Globetrotters William Shaw and Eugene Edgerson, former European league player John Jackson and Amateur Athletic Union coach Fabio Sanchez.
“I’m really committed to the city of Maricopa and want to bring some pros in here to be good role models for the kids,” Blakes said.
Blakes added that he tried to get his good friend Mike Bibby to attend the camp, but that he was not available. “I’ll get him out here for the next one though.”
At the end of the basketball camp each participant will receive a book, t-shirt, shorts and a stress ball.
Blakes said he hopes this will be the first of many basketball camps in the city. “We have some great facilities, and I know a lot of players who would be willing to come out and help me host camps.”
Blakes is currently enrolling participants for the upcoming camp and looking for community members to help offset the costs.
Where: Ak-Chin Community Recreation Center
When: Sept. 13 (ages 10-11 from 9 a.m. to noon; ages 12-13 from 1 to 4 p.m.)
Sept. 14 (ages 14-15 from 9 a.m. to noon; ages 16-18 from 1 to 4 p.m.)
More Information: firstname.lastname@example.org or www.ScholasticsandBaskets.com
Photo by Michael K. Rich