Youth basketball players practice dribbling down the floor at the Sarrell Dental Center basketball camp in 2011. --file photo
Youth basketball players practice dribbling down the floor at the Sarrell Dental Center basketball camp in 2011. -- file photo

July camp will feature Alabama basketball players

Published 8:37pm Thursday, June 27, 2013

By Daniel Evans

The Selma Times-Journal

The Sarrell Dental Center, a non-profit that treats the dental and optical needs of Alabama children ages 1 to 20, is sponsoring a basketball camp in July that will including counseling from many current players on the University of Alabama basketball team.

The camp is being held at July 20 at the Selma High School gymnasium and on July 14 at the Wenonah High School gymnasium in Birmingham. The camp starts at 1 p.m. and runs through 4 p.m. on both days. It is free for all boys and girls grades Kindergarten through twelfth grade.

Counselors participating in the camp include University of Alabama basketball players Trevor Releford, Levi Randolph, Rodney Cooper, Nick Jacobs, and Retin Obasohan, Ohio Wesleyan University’s Nick Felhaber, former University of Alabama basketball player Andrew Steele, and former division one basketball coach Dave Dagostino.

Steele, who played four years for the Crimson Tide, works for Sarrell Dental now as the Community Outreach Manager.

“We are a non-profit dental organization. We do a lot of community outreach in the communities that we serve, that being free dental education and free dental screenings,” Brandi Parris, Sarrell Dental Center’s Vice President of Marketing and Community Outreach, said. “We try to do a lot of things for the children in our areas, because this being a free basketball camp with the University of Alabama players putting it on, we sponsor it ‑‑ kind of pay for the cost of it ‑‑ so that the kids can come for free. It is just allowing them an opportunity to come to a camp that they probably wouldn’t be able to afford to go to otherwise.”

Last year about 120 players participated in the Sarrell basketball camp. Parris said this year they are anticipating a larger number of participants.

“We are actually anticipating a lot more this year, simply because last year we started getting the word out a little bit later. Now, we are more established in the community and people know what we are about,” Parris said. “I think we will have a much better turnout this year. 120 is still a really great turnout, but we are hoping to have a lot more than that this year.”

The counselors will have a lot of different messages for the participants.

“You’ve got to listen to your parents. You’ve got to listen to your teachers. Stay in school. Stay off drugs. Those type topics,” Parris said when asked what the message will be from counselors. “Taking good care of yourself and your teeth is part of taking care of your overall health. You’ve got to be healthy and do all those things if you want to go to college and play ball one day.”

According to its website, Sarrell Dental was founded in 2004 in Anniston, Ala. The non-profit now has offices in Anniston, Alexander City, Athens, Attalla, Bessemer, Boaz, Clanton, Enterprise, Heflin, Leesburg, Pinson, Selma, Talladega, Toney, and Tuscaloosa.

Registration starts at 12:30 p.m. Each participant needs to wear workout shorts, socks, t-shirt, and tennis shoes. Each child will receive a free camp photo and free t-shirt.

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