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Learning The Hard Way: Campbell’s camp not just about a T-shirt

Back in the gym that he help build at the school he lead to its first state championship, Marcus Campbell returned to Livingston this week for his third annual Marcus Campbell “Future Star” Basketball Camp, giving back to the community more than just a few autographs and free T-shirt.

“This camp is not just about a free T-shirt and an autograph,” camp spokesman Chris Spencer said of the Third Annual Marcus Campbell “Future Star” Basketball Camp.

While campers at this year’s camp will receive a free T-shirt before the camps end today, they have also received homework assignments, bible lessons, disciplinary push-ups and sit-ups and life skills that will hopefully last them a lifetime within the past three days.

Campbell, a former European professional basketball player and member of three University of Alabama SEC championship teams, was back at work Tuesday and Wednesday in the same gym where he help lead the 1987 Livingston Cougars to its first basketball state championship.

This year’s camp had more than 80 participants from throughout West Alabama and East Mississippi during its first two days, Spencer said. But Campbell and Spencer both expect those numbers to increase today with special guest Antoine Pettway due to speak.

“We have been really pleased with the numbers this year,” Spencer said. “But I’m sure that, although Wednesday is the last official day of the camp, with Pettway coming our numbers will indeed improve.”

Campbell’s campers not only learn the fundamentals of the game of basketball, but also the fundamentals of the game of life.

Each day campers receive a daily bible lesson from a local minister along with a daily life lesson from Campbell.

“We want them to learn the game and how to be better basketball players, but they must also learn to how to be better human beings as well,” Campbell said.

But the best thing about Campbell’s camp is that it’s free and the push-ups are included.

“We have no problem enforcing discipline here,” Campbell said. “Campers must know that certain behaviors are not tolerated on the court or in life.”

The Third Annual Marcus Campbell “Future Star” Basketball Camp concludes today at the Nelson R. Hughes Gymnasium on the campus of Livingston High School in Livingston from 8 a.m. to noon.