Kevin Campbell, a graduate of Adams County Christian School, preaches to a group of nearly 120 area high school basketball players during a three-day girls basketball camp at the ACCS gymnasium Wednesday. (Justin Sellers \ The Natchez Democrat)
Kevin Campbell, a graduate of Adams County Christian School, preaches to a group of nearly 120 area high school basketball players during a three-day girls basketball camp at the ACCS gymnasium Wednesday. (Justin Sellers \ The Natchez Democrat)

ACCS girls hoops camp features Christian devotional time

Published 12:01am Thursday, June 6, 2013

NATCHEZ — Adams County Christian School alumnus Kevin Campbell is used to preaching, but his audience was a bit different than normal.

A gifted speaker, Campbell is often invited to speak at churches in front of entire congregations. So when ACCS girls basketball coach Melanie Hall asked him to speak to her campers Wednesday afternoon, the setting was a bit different than what Campbell was used to.

But being a former athlete — Campbell played football and soccer for ACCS — Campbell wasn’t completely unfamiliar to interacting with athletes. And his message on knowing and accepting what God has called you to do was appropriate, since most of his audience was youth-age.

“A lot of people, especially the younger they are, are kind of cautious when approaching their calling,” Campbell explained afterward. “A lot of them don’t answer it until later in life. Having done it myself, it’s a blessing beyond belief.”

Campbell was the guest speaker during the devotional time at the ACCS girls basketball camp. ACCS played host to Centreville Academy, Tensas Academy, Monterey High School, Wilkinson County Christian Academy, Ferriday High School and Vidalia High School, giving Campbell a large audience. And Hall said she was pleased with his message.

“Kevin nailed it,” Hall said. “Having someone his age that they can relate to is big.”

ACCS girls basketball player Maggie Ray said she was impressed with Campbell’s message and his ability to deliver the message in a way that was relatable.

“He has a special way about everything he says, and he always brings himself out in it,” Ray said. “I think it’s great that everyone who’s come to camp is not just playing basketball but is hearing from God.”

Hall said she was pleased to host a couple of teams that had never participated in the camp before.

“We’re excited to have Vidalia and Ferriday here, and they’ve asked to come back (next summer),” Hall said. “I hope in the future we can get the word out to our (local) schools.”

Ferriday girls head coach Lisa Abron said she was glad the camp allowed her girls the opportunity to both improve their skills and hear a devotional.

“I think it’s great,” Abron said of the message. “It’s one of the best things done at a camp, and that needs to be taught as well as basketball. Most of my girls go to church, but it doesn’t hurt to include that in a setting like this.”

Different teams squared off against one another in exhibition games in which the score wasn’t kept, which allowed coaches to focus more on evaluation that wins and losses. Vidalia girls head coach Fred Marsalis said his players needed the competition.

“We’re young,” he said. “Out of the 12 I brought, only three of them have even a little experience. This gives you a chance to go up against players other than yourselves.”

Monterey girls head coach Cary Shively said getting work in during the summer goes a long way in preparing your team in the fall and winter.

“If you don’t do work in the summer, you go three to four months without doing anything,” Shively said. “The kids aren’t having to work in an environment where it’s, ‘We have to learn this now, because we have a game tomorrow.’”