Coach involved in community through camp

Story by Kyle Davis

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This article was originally published prior to June 2, 2013.  Due to a change in content management systems, the initial publication date is not available.

Athletes are role models, whether they want to be or not.

Even collegiate athletes, such as the University of Kansas basketball players, are looked at as kings in the eyes of the kids shooting basket after basket in their driveways. <br/>Being able to interact with these players can further inspire these kids to pursue their dreams.Being able to interact with these players can further inspire these kids to pursue their dreams.
Being able to interact with these players can further inspire these kids to pursue their dreams.

I went to the KU basketball camps as a kid and was in awe when I walked by Nick Collison in the cafeteria the first day, his 6-foot-10 frame towering over me, or having Aaron Miles sign my T-shirt before playing a game of Horse.

Brett Ballard is hosting a Baker basketball camp this summer, where kids from second grade through 12th grade can not only work on their basketball skills, but also meet two KU basketball players, Tyshawn Taylor and Tyrel Reed.

Yes, Lawrence is only 15 minutes away, but this is an opportunity the kids may not otherwise be given.

It’s not only important for a new coach, especially Ballard coming from KU, to have success on the court, but also to play a role in the Baldwin City community. The summer camp is a great way to do this.

I am a huge KU fan, and although I was not able to attend as many games in Allen Fieldhouse as I would have liked, which would have been all of them, I felt closer to the team and my fanhood grew when I was at the summer camps and was in the team’s environment.

A new coach has to get support from the university and the community in order to have a successful program. If these kids go to the camp, get familiar with the Baker environment and have positive experiences, it is more likely they will be in the stands with their parents for home games in the winter.

Camps like this one can increase the kids’ passion for the game and bring them closer to the team involved.

Why can’t Baldwin City kids look up to and interact with, even if to a lesser extent, the Baker basketball team like kids look up to the KU team?

Brett Ballard is bringing in a new era of Baker basketball, and while ultimately he will be judged by the team’s success on the court, Ballard’s contributions to the community should not go unnoticed.