A children’s basketball camp at Oklahoma City University July 11 through 15 will go beyond learning the game with participants netting lessons about the more important things in life.
The 1st Class Individuals Life Skills and Basketball Camp presented by Love’s Travel Stops and Country Stores is led by a professional who is as skilled at basketball as he is at steering children toward positive lifestyles. Jonathan Triplett, director of Intramural and Recreational Sports at OCU, spent seven years as a professional basketball player. Afterwards he made it his goal to help students achieve their full potential.
“With this camp, we want to show children how to become champions on and off the court,” Triplett said. “You hear a lot about young professional athletes who get into trouble, which leads to early ends of their careers. It’s not enough to excel at the game. You also need to excel at other things to become truly great.”
Triplett said his camp is designed to offer children in grades four through 12 a chance to have fun learning the game of basketball with plenty of time on the court. The practice sessions are balanced with lessons ranging from postgame interview skills to proper table etiquette. Professionals in a variety of fields will give presentations in subjects including personal finance, CPR training, college preparation and nutrition.
For all the pomp and circumstance of living the hoop dreams, Triplett knows firsthand what it takes to be successful off the court. He earned his bachelor’s degree at OCU in 2002 after his pro career. He received his master’s degree two years later and is currently going after a second. Triplett is also a licensed drug and alcohol counselor.
“Looking back, this is something my teammates and I would have greatly appreciated,” Triplett said. “I wasn’t very interested in life skills then. I would walk around and pretend like I was a hotshot, thinking I could have anything I wanted. But when the team would go to banquets and fancy functions we didn’t really know how to act. You start to realize the value of living a proper life after being wrapped up in that kind of atmosphere.”
The camp will be held in the Henry J. Freede Wellness and Activity Center at N.W. 27th Street and Florida Avenue.
The 1st Class Individuals Life Skills & Basketball Camp is $350 for campers who wish to stay on campus overnight and $250 for commuters. Team prices are available. Prices include meals each day in the campus cafeteria.