E.W. Dempsey has been all over the world giving free basketball lessons.
For the second year in a row, his organization, Three Point Play Ministries, will be offering a free, four-day basketball camp at McMinnville Civic Center.
The camp is July 5-8 from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. each day.
“We talk about setting goals to be a better basketball player and we also talk about goals in life,” said Dempsey, who added each day has a five-minute spiritual lesson too.
Three Point Play Ministries operates out of Calhoun, Ga., and is in the midst of offering 10 straight weeks of camps around the region. Dempsey says he is able to offer the free camps because his ministry receives donations throughout the year to fund the effort.
His camps are not limited to Georgia and Tennessee.
“We did a free camp one year in Nicaragua,” said Dempsey. “They didn’t have much, just a concrete slab, so that’s what we worked with. They told me the goal probably wasn’t 10 feet high, but it was the best they could do. When I asked why it wasn’t 10 feet, they told me it was nailed to a tree and the tree had grown. It was probably 12 feet tall.”
Dempsey was a high school and middle school basketball coach for 22 years and says he’s been in coaching close to 40 years. He will have three college students and three high school students assisting him with the camp in McMinnville.
He says the camp is open to boys and girls ages 9 to 13, although that age range isn’t concrete if someone a little older or younger wants to participate.
“Kids learn a lot in four days and it’s all very organized,” said Dempsey. “The purpose is to teach fundamentals. There is no playing. Fundamentals are fundamentals.”
Dempsey said all participants will get a free T-shirt and poster. There’s also a drawing at the end of the camp to give one girl and one boy a free basketball.
To register, show up at the Civic Center on Tuesday, July 5 at 8 a.m. There is no pre-registration.