Ratliff camp set

Published 10:19 pm Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Theo Ratiliff Activities Center is busy preparing for the next installment of the annual Theo Ratliff Basketball Camp. “We anticipate 330-350 participants this year, possibly more,” said TRAC director Edward Ward Jr. “We have even had contact from groups from Pickens County, Tuscaloosa and Wilcox County ask about coming down to join.”

The basketball camp is a good way for kids to come out and learn the fundamentals of basketball with Theo Ratliff, former NBA all-star and center for the Philadelphia 76ers. Everyone that participates gets a free t-shirt and certificate of participation and those performing well will receive awards for their accomplishments.

“We just try to make it a fun day” said Ward of the camp. “Plus the opportunity to play with a NBA star is exciting.”

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Ward said that the camp will show a presentation of Theo Ratliff’s career and Ratliff would speak to all of the campers before they split up into separate groups and actually get down to basketball business.

Ward was excited about the chance to have kids come to TRAC and be able to participate in a camp like this for free because the camp is entirely funded by the City of Demopolis and Ratliff.

“Most camps like these have a registration fee, but we dont and that is really a hats off to Theo (Ratliff) for doing something like that,” Ward said.

Ward says that, along with Ratliff, each of the coaches from the Demopolis City Schools system will be on hand to help teach the participants, as well as other coaches from around the area. He was very grateful for the all of the help with the camp, which is entirely voluntary.

With such an expected turnout, Ward said that the camp will be held not only at the TRAC but at the Demopolis High and Demopolis Middle School gyms as well. The basketball camp will be held for two days starting June 10. Ward invites kids to come out and have a good time with Theo Ratliff. The free event that will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. with registration starting at 8 a.m. Lunch will be provided free for the campers and all that is needed to participate is parental consent.