Stars of Tomorrow brings crowd for round ball training, fun

Trazel Silvers gives the boys some coaching during the Stars of Tomorrow basketball camp.

Photo by Jolanda Jansma

Trazel Silvers gives the boys some coaching during the Stars of Tomorrow basketball camp.

The annual Stars of Tomorrow Basketball camp drew a record attendance this July to William Blount High School. The camp took place on July 29-30 and drew 140 campers and 30 to 40 counselors, volunteers and former NCAA and NBA players and at least one former Harlem Globetrotter.

“I think the biggest thing is that it is always heart warming,” said camp founder Loren Riddick. “It is like Christmas time in July. The kids had the opportunity to hear from and meet and have autographs from former Globetrotter Trazell Silvers. We played the music, and he took five kids and showed them how to do the circle trick.”

The campers got to meet Greg Dennis, who was drafted by the Celtics, and Calvin Talford, who was the first NCAA Slam Dunk Champion. “The kids were blown away. They’re seeing these guys who are looking like their heads are touching the ceiling and they’re in awe,” Riddick said. “Their faces light up like Christmas trees.”

Riddick said these and the rest of the counselors and celebrities who came represented more than 30 championship rings and as many NCAA tournament appearances. “Cait McMahan came and worked with kids and did a rap performance,” he said.

“Of course the awesome feeling I have as a businessman is to communicate with all our sponsors and a great list of people who donate services or money to help facilitate everything,” he said.

Riddick has run the camp 12 years and the only request he makes is that the campers do a good deed for someone. “A lot of people are blown away because it is a free camp. I believe in my heart that the talent represented by the people who help with the camp that day and a half is as good or better than any camp in the country, regardless of prices,” he said. “It is delivering something that would easily cost over $200 per kid, and it’s free, thanks to our sponsors.”

Riddick said he was appreciative of the high school as well. “It went great. We’re very thankful to William Blount High School for providing a great facility with air conditioning.”

Riddick and several other counselors plan to be on hand in the Children’s Play Land at Foothills Fall Festival putting on mini-basketball clinics.

“I love the game of basketball and what it can mean as a tool to a young person,” he said. “Anytime I have the opportunity to share that, I’m excited about it. We’re excited about the Foothills Fall Festival and the three-plus sessions per day in the Children’s Play area.” Times will be announced. For any one who wants to pre-register for the clinic, text freebball to 90210.

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