July 22 marks the 16th year James Lunsford and Southern Prep Hoops has held a basketball exposure camp in Milledgeville.

Lunsford said the camp is an excellent way for college hopefuls to get noticed.

“The goal is to get the kids some exposure,” Lunsford said. “We’re in the middle and southern part of the state, and most people go to Atlanta to look for college players. I’ve always thought we’ve had a lot of kids that can play ball here. It’s just a matter of getting exposure.”

The camp is a three-day, NCAA-sanctioned, exposure basketball event that will be held July 22-24. The camp is designed to showcase the talent and skills of area players, and Lunsford has an intensive schedule of activities planned for the participants.

“The first thing we do is go over the NCAA rules and regulations,” Lunsford said, adding that the classroom session is a requirement for NCAA certification. “Then we do a lot of fundamental drills so we can see whether the kids can make a left-handed lay-up, make a right-handed lay-up, pass and things like that. We want to be able to evaluate the kids.”

But the camp is not all drills and practice. Games are a big part of the event.

“We’ll have 12 teams with 10 or 12 players on each team, and the kids will play five games,” Lunsford said. “Each team will have a high school coach. Chris Barfield from GMC is one of the coaches, and we have some from Georgia, Florida and South Carolina.”

Each player will have an equal amount of time on the floor so the college coaches can get a good look, and Lunsford said there will be quite a few college coaches in attendance.

“We average about 40 college level coaches at each camp,” he said. “Some are D-I and D-II assistants, but most of them are middle-level programs that send coaches.”

And the extra looks have paid off in the past. Several camp participants have moved on to the next level in basketball. Alexander Johnson is playing with the Memphis Grizzlies, Udonis Haslem is playing with the Miami Heat, and Larry Turner from Baldwin High School, Martavious Adams from Wilkinson County and Isaac Butts from GMC Prep have all earned college scholarships.

“We’ve had a lot of guys come through that we consider big-time players,” Lunsford said. “We’ve also had a lot of outstanding local guys move on to play competitive basketball.”

According to Lunsford, that’s what the camp is all about — getting kids into college.

“We don’t have all division 1 guys here,” he said. “We just have a bunch of guys trying to get into college. They just want to get some exposure.”

Registration for the Southern Prep Hoops basketball exposure camp will be July 22 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Express. For more information contact Lunsford at jameslunsford1@yahoo.com or (478) 452-7990.

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