Stewart hoops camp a success

Published 12:01am Friday, July 25, 2014

VIDALIA — Greater Mt. Carmel Missionary Baptist Church members Gary Stewart and Letitia Riley collaborated in a joint effort to put on a weeklong basketball camp for kids that was sponsored by the church.

Neither one of them expected the amount of participation nor excitement this past week has generated.

“We had way more kids than we expected,” said Riley, who counted 40-plus kids that have been present all week. “It’s been very successful. It’s been so awesome.”

Riley and Stewart hyped it with flyers that said members of the 2010 Vidalia High School state championship team would serve as instructors. Stewart, along with his former teammates, has been teaching fundamentals to kids in first grade through the ninth grade.

Riley said the event has been so successful that she plans to make it an annual event for the kids. As far as Stewart is concerned, the camp was long overdue.

“A few people were saying the kids need a basketball camp to go to so the talent level could get back to how it was when we were in high school,” Stewart said. “At first it was just an idea, but then the church sponsored it and we took it from there.”

Riley said the kids look up to Stewart, and Stewart was more than grateful to help inspire the youth.

“It’s always good to give back to the community that supported me when I was at Vidalia,” Stewart said.