Former NHS star brings game home with camp

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 8, 2001

For Reggie Ware the basketball camp he is hosting next week in Natchez is simply about giving something back to the community that helped him.

&uot;I grew up in a low income area of Natchez, and I had people help me,&uot; he said. &uot;I’m here because I wanted to return those favors.&uot;

Ware, a former star at Natchez High School under coach Mike Martin and Samford University under current LSU coach John Brady will host a A.F.A.T (All-American Fundamental and Technique) basketball camp Monday through Thursday at both Natchez High and McLaurin Elementary. In addition to giving back through working with area youth, Ware is also giving something back to the local high school athletic departments. Ten percent of all proceeds from the camp will be given to the athletic departments of local schools.

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&uot;When I was growing up I was fortunate enough to be able to go to basketball camps, but not all of my friends were,&uot; Ware said. &uot;I want to bring a camp to Natchez that is similar to the big camps at places like LSU, Mississippi State and Alabama,&uot; he said. &uot;I was doing camps in the Birmingham (Ala.) area. They were large scale camps with up to 250 kids that were paying $200 each. We are going to provide the same things those larger camps provide at a fraction of what they cost. We will have meals for the campers, trophies, daily prizes and a skills packet that the players can use throughout the year.&uot;

Ware said the biggest thing he wants to accomplish at the camp is to motivate the children to work hard at everything they do, not just basketball.

&uot;Getting these kids motivated is the big thing,&uot; he said. &uot;If you can motivate them, it will have a big impact on every area of their lives.&uot;

The camp will run from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day Monday through Thursday. Campers in grades K-6 will meet at McLaurin Elementary, while campers in grades 7-12 will be at the high school.

Pre-registration will be held at the high school from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday and from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday. The cost is only $50 for pre-registered campers, but $60 for those who register the day of the camp.

&uot;We will have area coaches and former college players from this area at the camp to share their knowledge,&uot; he said.