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GREAT BEND, Kansas – Young players from around central Kansas were in Great Bend Tuesday hoping to hone their hoops skills with help form a former KU basketball great.
“This was a camp that I started about seven years ago while I was still playing for the Miami Heat, and really our goal in the camp was not just to teach kids how to dribble, pass or shoot a basketball, but to really teach them what it means to live a life of greatness in following Jesus Christ,” said Wayne Simien, former KU player.
Although he’s no longer a professional basketball player, Wayne Simien is now a minister and his call to greatness camps have allowed him to combine his two loves of basketball and the Lord.
“We want to give kids practical basketball skills that they can take and use throughout the entire year whether it’s before practice or in their driveways so that they can continue to improve and get better, but we also want to help them take tangible christian life skills that can really help them whether it’s in their schools, on their teams, in their neighborhoods to really be effective people.”
The call to Greatness Camp also helps out a lot of foster children by giving them scholarships and allowing them to come to a basketball camp they otherwise couldn’t afford.
“We usually have around 70 to 200 kids in each location. We really enjoy serving the kids. We offer tons of scholarships because we don’t want kids to be turned away from this opportunity. Probably my favorite to work with here in this community is the kids who are in the foster care system that don’t have a lot of opportunities outside of their schools to play sports, and so they come here, and we get a chance to engage and interact and encourage them over the next two days, and it’s been really fun.”
While the Called to Greatness Camps are now all over Kansas, Wayne Simien is hoping to expand them into Missouri and Nebraska in the near future.
The basketball camp had its final day today and will head to other cities this week.