Former University of Michigan Men's Basketball player Caris LeVert had to make a stop back to Ann Arbor because he wanted to give back to the community that welcomed him, and helped launch his basketball career.
LeVert gave back by putting on his inaugural youth basketball camp for boys and girls, and he had two main goals for the camp:
1. He made sure that the parents and campers did not have to pay to attend (it was FREE)
Camp Director Jay Shunnar said that LeVert wanted to make it free, and that it was his top priority.
"He really wanted to do a free camp for kids when they got back to school," Shunnar said. "Caris always talked about giving back to the community, and one of Caris’ best attributes and characteristics is that he’s always wanting to give back.”
2. He wanted to make sure the campers had fun!
While the camp was free, LeVert also wanted to make the most of the camper's experience as well.
“I just want every kid to have fun and come out with an experience, and I hope that they learned a lot," he said.
The day was filled with smiles and laughter. I admire LeVert for his devotion to the campers on Sunday. He gave his undivided attention, and sought a genuine connection with the children, staff and parents, from beginning to end (10am-4pm). I watched his interaction in the lunch room, and I listened in on some of the conversations he had.
LeVert was a complete open book, allowing kids to ask whatever questions they wanted.
One of my favorite moments was when a young camper asked “can you dunk on Kevin Durant?” and he answered, “I can dunk on you.” Everyone in the huddle laughed, and I chuckled myself just watching the smiles on their faces and the admiration the kids had for him.
I spoke with LeVert later in the day, and we got into the details about why he wanted to put on his camp. He said when he was younger, he didn’t really have an NBA player to look up to. Someone who was really around all the time.
"Me being that for these kids is a blessing,” he added.
Parent Marcus Sayles (camp attendee, Javontae Sayles), gave his thoughts on the camp saying, “I appreciate Caris coming out and having his inaugural basketball academy here in Ann Arbor, in my community. My son loved it."
I think we can all agree with Mr. Sayles, we all loved it and we all appreciate LeVert!
Contributor: Blair Glover
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