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City basketball camp has big turnout

LaFayette summer recreation director and former LaFayette High head basketball coach John T. Woody (right) leads drills at last week’s free city basketball camp.

The City of LaFayette’s annual summer basketball camp wrapped up on Friday after another exciting and successful week. Approximately 90 local youth came out during the five-day camp learning the game of basketball from LaFayette High School coaches and former players at the LHS gym.

Summer basketball director and former LaFayette High School basketball coach John T. Woody was pleased with the turnout again this year as well as the attitude of the young campers. Woody, who has organized the free camp for more than 20 years each summer, extended his thanks to the City of LaFayette for sponsoring the camp. “Without the help of the City, we wouldn’t be able to provide this free camp for these kids,” he said.

Several LaFayette coaches and former players took part in the camp, including second year LaFayette basketball coach Obadiah Threadgil, LaFayette girls’ basketball coach Michael Bratcher and LaFayette athletic director and head football coach Steve Coker. Coker and Threadgil both also spoke to the campers about life away from the athletic field, including the importance of maintaining good grades and graduating.

Local youth go through ball-handling drills at the camp.

The campers participated in a number of activities over the week. Fundamentals were the emphasis of the early part of the camp, and skill drills followed. As part of the camp, free throw and three point competitions were held in four different age groups. Competitions were also held in a shooting game called ‘Gotcha.’ Friday concluded with a 3-on-3 tournament. Awards were given at the end of the week to the campers that excelled in all those events.

Something new at this year’s camp was the city’s free lunch program for the recreational league. In conjunction with the Valley Recreation Department, the program provides a healthy lunch every day for the children at no charge to them or to the city. Woody and his wife, Mary, are overseeing the program here in LaFayette and both praised the idea and noted is has been very successful so far.

The week is the highlight of the summer program, but it is far from the end. Woody said that the gym would open Monday through Friday from 9 am to 2 pm for the rest of the summer. He also noted that games would be organized for local youth on Tuesday’s and Thursdays. There is no fee, and the gym is open to any LaFayette youth, in addition the free meal program will continue for the duration of the summer.