Woods continues to spread wisdom, knowledge during camp

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 23, 2017

More than halfway into his 70s, Willie Woods is still looking toward the future.

This past week, Woods served as a volunteer coach to a group of nearly 40 participants during a youth basketball camp hosted by the Natchez YMCA at Natchez High School.

“I had a lot of fun,” Woods said.

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The camp — which was open to all ages — was no cost to the players. Woods said he wanted to give youth the chance to learn basics of the game without having to worry about any fees.

“We wanted to use one of the school’s gyms because usually everybody that gives camps charges for them,” he said. “I felt that a lot of kids who want to go to camp don’t have a lot of money. I felt good doing it and giving back some.”

Woods is no stranger to guiding young athletes, serving as the Natchez  High girls junior varsity basketball coach for more than a decade. He most recently led the varsity Lady Bulldogs this past season as interim head coach, guiding them into the MHSAA Class 5A playoffs.

“We went through drills and did a lot of fundamental things,” Woods said. “We did layups, dribbling, passing — everything. I really hope they learned discipline from me.”

Natchez YMCA Director Alice Agner said she was grateful Woods was able to continue spreading his lifelong knowledge.

“Hopefully they learned something this week they can take with them for the rest of their lives,” Agner said. “That’s really what it’s all about. We really just want to help the kids.”

Overall, Woods said he was pleased with the turnout and saw potential in a good number of young players.

“I’m happy,” he said.

In the upcoming weeks, Agner said registration will open for the YMCA’s fall baseball, cheer and flag football leagues.

For more information on how to signup, contact Agner at 601-326-0558 or recreation@natchez.ms.us.