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Former NBA player coming to Mt. Orab

Former UC Bearcat and NBA forward Corie Blount is hosting a basketball camp at Western Brown High School from June 11-13.

Courtesy Photo Western Brown High School will play host to Corie Blount’s Gradu8 basketball camp from June 11-13.

A former NBA player is holding a basketball camp next week in Mt. Orab.

Corie Blount, who played at the University of Cincinnati in college and then played 10 seasons in the NBA with the Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers, and Phoenix Suns among others, is hosting a dual educational and fundamentals-focused basketball camp at Western Brown High School from June 11-13. The camp is for boys only, but Blount said he hopes that he can expand it to girls in the future.

“It’s not just (about) basketball,” Blount explained in a phone interview. “We’re going to be introducing these kids to positive people in the community. We’re getting support from Kroger and other local businesses to introduce these kids to the fundamentals of basketball and what it takes to be successful. We want the whole camp to give kids the fundamentals to be successful. They’re going to be able to hear financial advisors to introduce kids about saving and finance and individuals from the police department. We’re trying to make it a community affair around basketball.”

The camp is being run by Blount’s company, Gradu8 Inc. The company has a stated goal of “acknowledging and inspiring educational achievement through our brand and product.”

After a series of successful camps run by Blount in his hometown of Monrovia, Calif., his pastor, Floyd Walker, a Glen-Este High School graduate, suggested that Blount bring the show to Southwest Ohio.

After discussions with some of his business associates as well as a good conversation with Western Brown Broncos boys basketball coach Greg Foster, Blount selected Western Brown High School to host the event.

In addition to teaching the players life lessons, they’ll receive plenty of high-level basketball instruction.

“The basketball will be high-level based,” Blount said. “A lot of kids play basketball but they don’t always understand court awareness. There will be defensive drills, offensive, passing, shooting, the basic basketball stuff.”

Overall, Blount believes that the basketball camp should give the kids a well-rounded education, and he’s seen it work wonders in the past.

“I participated in a lot of camps and that’s a lot of what I did do in my home town,” Blount said. “It was all geared around education. Sports and education are team sports and they play a big role with each other. I think kids get a lot more out of an experience when they’re being taught in a fun way. I want to include learning but make it fun and interesting. We came together and decided to make the camp educational at the same time as fun and learning.”

Campers who attend the camp will walk away with a drawstring backpack, a Gradu8 water bottle, a Gradu8 basketball camp t-shirt, and various coupons from local businesses.

Blount said that he wanted to bring the camp from California to Cincinnati, but there’s no guarantee that it will return to the area next year. It all depends on how many people attend.

“This is a test, we’re going to see how it responds in the community and see if we can do it again,” he said.

The camp runs from June 11-13 at Western Brown High School, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. each day. Campers will receive a lunch provided for them at the camp. The cost is $75 per camper. The camp is open to boys from grades 6-12. More information can be found at http://www.gradu8bballcamp.com/

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2016 News Democrat