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Overcoming Obstacles with Excellence

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A San Bernardino church held a basketball camp for area youth this past weekend. “This camp is more then improving your basketball skills,” said camp coordinator Angelia Watts. “We want to teach them the value of making wise decisions, that’s why we called it Pastor’s Basketball Camp.”

This is Life Changing Ministries inaugural Pastor’s Basketball Camp. Mentors included former ABA player Ron Richardson and former NBA player Corey Benjamin and members of Cal State San Bernardino men’s basketball team. Youth ranged from ages 10 to 16. Many of the 50 boys were from single parent homes, foster homes, group homes, or in child protective services. Youth who were unable to pay for the camp were granted scholarships. Some boys were playing with shoes two sizes too small.

Area businesses including Goodsports and Arrowhead provided water, food, basketballs, shoes, and jerseys. “Some of their stories are heart wrenching...to know we have kids who have real needs, spiritually, mentally, physically, socially,” said Watts. “We want to address some of those needs.” The camp included basketball skills but also had workshops for mentors to speak with youth about making good decisions and going to college. “This camp lets them know there’s people in the community who will come out and help them,” said Benjamin. “I will never say no to help a kid with something the Lord has given me...I’m here to direct the kids.”

“Don’t give up,” that is what 13-year-old Cameron Sandeoo of San Bernardino said he learned in basketball and in life. “We want them to take something more with them and use it for life,” said Watts. “Within them lies the person that can overcome.”

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