Local News

Using Basketball to Teach 'One on One' Relationship With God

Posted April 4, 1999 7:00 a.m. EDT

— College basketball generates a lot of excitement in the Triangle. Some even describe it as a religion of sorts.

In Durham this week, some former players and coaches are helping kids put basketball and religious faith in perspective.

Some kids are spending their spring break on a basketball court getting advice that will help sharpen their skills.

But the instructors are not filling the campers' minds with dreams of being the next Michael Jordan. The camp is called "More Than Gold" and stresses a relationship with God over basketball riches.

"What we do want to do is to try and show them even by the name of our camp, that there is more than being the best player, but putting it in perspective that God should be at the center of your life," said organizer John Blake.

"It helps me to realize that we can be great in some things, but without God, there's just no point in it," said camp participant Jessica Byrd.

"God created each one of you very special. You're special to Him," explained Blake.

After the fundamentals of basketball, Blake shares some fundamentals of faith.

He and former Duke basketball player Robert Brickey started the camp idea four years ago with one idea in mind.

"Reaching those who need to hear the message of hope in the Bible and also those who don't go to church anywhere," said Blake.

The spiritual element is what coach Larry Parrish says is the key to success in basketball and in life.

"Whatever you do, do it with all your heart, because you're representing God, not man," said Parrish.

"More than Gold" is an outreach of Child Evangelism Fellowship in Durham.