More than basketball: It’s life lessons too at Grimes Parker Camp

Published 1:46 pm Tuesday, July 11, 2023

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By KC Smith

Cooleemee Correspondent

Cooleemee’s Grimes Parker Basket Ball Camp/Invictus was a success again this year with approximately 30 campers.

Organizing the camp each year includes contacting volunteers and coaches, who make the camp run so well.  Being able to rely on those who say they will be there is imperative.

Coach Eric Epps teaches at Salisbury High and makes a commitment to be there every year. He’s a true asset and camp leaders said they are glad to call him one of their own.   

Monty Gray teaches at East Forsyth High and  commands attention while keeping things moving to learn techniques while having fun. He talks to campers about how important it is to have good grades, and to treat people the way they want to be treated.

Andrew Mitchell is soft spoken but expects a lot from campers and is devoted to teaching solid techniques.  Having his basketball players to help is valuable and a true asset. The campers look up to them and learn a lot.

Mike Gurley is a former coach and still teaches at West Rowan High. He’s creative fun and has a captivating voice that may intimidate the littles ones at first but before the day is over – he has won them over.  He teaches them to bow down and salute winners in a competition with the salami dance. He stressed the meaning of “BEEF”, balance, eyes, elbow and follow through.

If it wasn’t for these four men who devote their time each year to this camp, it would be in trouble.

Not all campers will grow up to play on a team but what they take with them is more than how to pay basketball: team building, respect, tenacity, confidence, drive and how to share space with others.    

Thank you to all the volunteers who make the camp and success and to Grimes Parker and Clement Fleming. Your dream has continued over ten years and it will keep growing and going. You are creating wonderful memories for these kids, and the seeds you have planted are a chance in a lifetime for those kids.