Bobby Madison camp set for 10-year anniversary

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

It’s hard to believe it has been 10 years, but from June 24-27, the Bobby Madison basketball camp will celebrate its 10th consecutive year of running a camp for both boys and girls at Shelby County High School.

Madison, who went on to play basketball collegiately for Western Michigan University before playing professionally overseas for nine years, played for Shelby County during his high school days and was a part of the winningest team in school history.

Now, he enjoys giving back to the community that helped his career take off and does so by putting on this annual basketball camp to teach boys and girls the fundamentals of basketball, while also giving them something to work toward.

The goal of the camp isn’t to just promote the game he’s loved for so long, but help grow positive character and sportsmanship amongst kids getting involved in the game at a young age.

The summer camp is open to anyone between the ages of six and 17, and gives them the opportunity to practice ball handling, shooting, defensive presence and other fundamental skills with a qualified staff.

With those different skills, the objective is to give campers a love for the game while centering that around doing it the right way.

Over the last several years, the camp has been wildly popular with more than 100 boys and girls coming out to participate in the camp for the week.

There are two separate sessions for different age groups with ages 6-11 taking to the court first from 8 a.m. until noon, followed by the 12-17 age group from 1-3:30 p.m. each day from June 24-27.

The first session will cost $65, while the second session will be 45. For each additional sibling it will be $50 for session one and $30 for session 2.

For registration, you can visit Bobbymadisonbasketball.com or take advantage of an onsite registration day at Shelby County High School on Sunday, June 2, from 2-5 p.m.

This year, there will also be an additional day open to campers only that will be called Fun Friday, as the basketball camp will celebrate its 10th year with games, food and other fun for all from 8 a.m. until noon.

Madison’s background in basketball has been an impressive one.

After a successful run for the Wildcats, Madison found himself traveling an hour-and-a-half to the east to attend Southern Union State Community College to continue his athletic career. It didn’t take long to cement himself as a strong player there either as those same hard-working skills came out.

Before his two years at the school came to an end, Madison had earned his way onto another impressive list when he was named to the Junior College All-American team.

His dedication to the game was noticed, which led him to being able to continue his career again as he moved on from the JUCO school and traveled a little bit further away from home to Kalamazoo, Michigan to the campus of Western Michigan University. Madison spent his last two years of collegiate eligibility playing for the Broncos and played an integral part in their 2003 run to the NIT, their 2004 conference championship and 2004 NCAA Tournament appearance.

His college career came to an end in the first round of the 2004 tournament after he and the Broncos lost a 71-58 game to the Vanderbilt Commodores.

After earning his degree and graduating from Western Michigan, Madison moved on to seek opportunities of playing professional basketball oversees in the in the International Basketball Federation (FIBA). He went on to spend three years playing in countries like Argentina, Chile, Portugal and Venezuela.

Madison has since digressed from basketball as a profession, but started this camp eight years ago and it’s something that brings him just as much, if not more joy than his playing days even did.

With an older brother who spent time with the Harlem Globe Trotters and a younger brother who just finished his senior year playing on UAB’s basketball team, Madison is part of a basketball rich family that yes was naturally gifted, but also a family that was rooted in fundamentals and hard work.