International basketball player, Charles Rhodes, hosts weekend camp

Published: Jun. 5, 2022 at 10:35 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Charles Rhodes, an international star basketball player from Lanier High School and Mississippi State, has come back to the metro to help teach kids a few things about the game.

More than 200 pairs of squeaking tennis shoes could be heard inside Hartfield Academy this weekend for a very special camp.

The Magnolia State’s own basketball star, Charles Rhodes, hosted summer basketball camp for children 5 to 14-years-old.

“Having my own basketball camp was a dream of mine since I was a kid. I always said, once I got older, I was gonna have one, but I was gonna have a free one,” Rhodes said.

Rhodes said providing this free camp for the kids is important, especially after facing several financial struggles during his childhood.

“When I was a kid, I couldn’t afford to go to the camps because we didn’t have it, or I had to get clothes, and you had to choose which one you wanted. So, I wanted to make it free for kids so I can be able to reach them and talk to them,” Rhodes explained.

The kids got a chance to learn how to dribble, play defense, as well as how to shoot and pass the ball. They also learned skills that could be used off the court.

“You can get very far being a hard worker,” 11-year-old participant Desiree Morris said.

As summer kicks off and kids have more time on their hands, parents say this isn’t just a basketball camp. It’s a place where they know they’re kids can have fun and learn from good role models.

“Just for the kids, like, it is so much negativity that it’s just good to have someone that is coming back and just shedding light in the dark place. So basically, we took the streets away and gave them a ball,” father of four, Gaylon Steel, said.

Parents said it’s refreshing to see a hometown success story give back to his community, and they are thankful for it.

“When folks make it, they never come back,” Steel said. “And when folks come back that look like us, that played in the same gyms, had the same trials and tribulations as us. It just make the goals and dreams seem a little bit more at arm’s reach.”

Rhodes said if your kids missed the camps this weekend, don’t worry! He’s planning on hosting similar camps in the coming months.

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