- Associated Press - Monday, August 1, 2016

GRAMBLING, La. (AP) - The city of Grambling recently sponsored a community basketball camp beginning an initiative to get community children active during the summer.

Cornelius Dunaway, a local basketball instructor, has held his camp for more than 10 years.

Grambling and surrounding community fourth through 12th grade children gathered July 20 at Grambling State University’s Intramural Recreation Facility.

Dunaway said the camps teach basketball fundamentals from area coaches and life lessons from guest speakers from around the community.

“We teach them how to dribble,” he said. “We teach them how to be successful. We teach these kids all the right things to have a better future on and off the court.”

Dunaway, a Lincoln Parish native, has been hosting camps for more than a decade in the Monroe area, but said it was a privilege and honor to finally bring his camp to the Grambling area.

“We want to expand,” he said. “We want to make it longer and get these kids active.”

Councilman G. Denise Dupree said the city supports this enterprise, too.

“We want to sponsor annually,” she said. “We want all of our North Louisiana neighbors and Grambling children to come to this camp because it gives them experience playing basketball and seeing what Grambling State University has to offer.”

Dupree said the city sponsored this camp because officials want community children to “stay active and continue to learn.”

“We’re going to continue sponsoring this camp and want to see it grow,” she said. “We want to see more camps and other healthy, experiencing camps come to Grambling as well.”

Mariuntaye Buggs, 14, of Grambling said he learned the fundamentals of dribbling and how to shoot a layup, but he also learned a valuable life lesson as well.

“Never give up,” he said. “You won’t get anywhere in life if you give up. That’s important.”

Cassandra Evans, 12, of Ruston, said her father told her about Dunaway’s camp and jumped at the opportunity to join.

“I learned a few moves to get around my opponent,” she said. “It was a lot of fun.”

Cassandra said she encourages others to join next year’s camp because she, too, learned a valuable lesson.

“You learn to try harder and perfect it,” she said. “Don’t think because you’re small playing basketball that you should give up. You have to have fun and keep trying.”

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Information from: Ruston Daily Leader, https://www.rustonleader.com/

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