Bobby Madison to host sixth annual basketball camp

Bobby Madison, pictured here at his camp in 2013, will host his sixth annual basketball camp running from June 29-July 2. (File)

Bobby Madison, pictured here at his camp in 2013, will host his sixth annual basketball camp running from June 29-July 2. (File)

By BAKER ELLIS / Sports Editor

COLUMBIANA – Bobby Madison is bringing his basketball camp back to Columbiana in late June. The former Shelby County High School standout will bring his fundamental-heavy curriculum back to Charles Dickinson Gymnasium at Shelby County High School from June 29-July 2.

Madison is the middle of child of a family steeped in basketball tradition. Madison himself played professionally in Europe for a number of years and has an older brother who played professionally for the Seattle Supersonics and a younger brother currently playing for UAB. Madison understands the game better than most, and is excited to impart his wisdom to a younger generation.

“I’ve always had a passion for basketball and a passion for teaching the game,” Madison said on June 1. “My first year doing the camp I anticipated having 50-60 kids. I showed up on the first day and there were 140 kids.”

The camp has only grown since.

Madison, now a manager at Alabama Power in Columbiana, has a kind, easygoing demeanor and an overflowing love for the game. When talking about his camp and the kids who populate it, his eyes light up. One of the kids from the early years of his camp recently received a basketball scholarship.

“It’s neat,” Madison said. “He was one of the first campers that I had where you can look and say, ‘If you work at this stuff and you work hard, you can get a scholarship out of it’.”

Madison tries to keep the ratio of players to coaches around 12 to one. He has a number of ex-teammates and coaches come to help him run the program, and he focuses the camp around teaching the fundamentals of the game.

“Basketball has really gotten away from the fundamentals,” Madison said. “Today, guys have a lot of talent and still can’t execute a proper bounce pass. We spend most of our time on the fundamentals of the game.”

The camp lasts four days and has two sessions each day. From 8 a.m. to noon is camp for kids ages 6-11, and from 1-5 p.m. is camp for kids ages 12-17. The cost is $70 per camper, and $55 for additional siblings, which is significantly reduced from most weeklong basketball camps. He cites the involvement of local businesses for helping keep the price of camp so low. The next and last registration date is Sunday, June 14th from 2-4 p.m in the lobby of the Charles Dickinson gym.

“Basketball has blessed me and allowed me to see the world and has taught me a lot, not just athletically,” Madison said. “It taught me character, it taught me how to work as a team, it taught me lessons I can apply to my life. That’s what I’m trying to do and pass on.”

For more information visit the Bobby Madison Basketball Facebook page.