Sports Crusaders slate Golden Valley basketball camp

GOLDEN VALLEY - Four athletes from Sports Crusaders, a nonprofit ministry reaching children through sports, will be traveling to Golden Valley to host a basketball camp this month.

The camp will take place from 9 to 11 a.m. for boys and girls in first to fifth grades and from 1-3 p.m. for sixth- to eighth-graders June 24-28 at the Black Mountain Elementary School gymnasium, 33016 N. 60th St. The event, sponsored by Golden Valley Baptist Church, costs $15 for the first child, and $10 for each additional sibling.

Each group is limited to 25 participants, and registration is required. To register, call Becky Hooper at (928) 897-0846 or the church at (928) 565-0846. Or stop in at the church, located at 100 S. Higley Road, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

"This is the first time we've put on a camp like this," said the Rev. Steve Brown, who pastors the church. "We have a heart for the young people in our community and have dreamt of doing something extra-special for them. They need to be loved and have mentors so they can see there are many options for their futures if they make good choices. We've been praying for something like this that will broaden their view of the world."

Sports Crusaders, headquartered in Holts Summit, Mo., provides a variety of sporting camps that mix training and religious instruction. They include volleyball, cheerleading, basketball, baseball, soccer and softball camps.

The athletes coming to Golden Valley are Tiff Kempf of Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, Mo.; Nikki Halderman of Central Christian College in McPherson, Kansas; Katie Thomas of Williams Baptist College in Walnut Ridge, Ark.; and Lane Morecraft of Arizona State University.

Children in first to sixth grades who don't participate in the basketball camp are invited to attend a free Vacation Bible School from 9:30 a.m. to noon June 24-28 at the church. The event will be run by a mission team from One Church in Conway, Ark.

The church has planned a kick-off ceremony for the camp and Vacation Bible School at 6 p.m. June 23 at the church. It will feature a free ice cream party, with ice cream cones and slushies donated by Maverick Country Store in Golden Valley, and a black-light puppet show.

"We're stepping out on faith here," said Julie Brown. "We've been looking for more creative ways to provide good opportunities for the kids in Golden Valley, and we've had a lot of interest in a basketball camp. It's going to help them increase their playing skills and teach them some great life principles."

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