JEFFERSONVILLE — A pair of former University of Louisville national champions are teaming up for a basketball camp in Jeffersonville next month.
IU Southeast men’s coach Wiley Brown, a starter on Louisville’s 1980 NCAA national championship team, and Robbie Valentine, a member of the Cardinals’ 1986 champion squad, are putting on the Wiley Brown & Robbie Valentine 2020 Summer Basketball Camp. The camp, for boys and girls ages 5 through 16, will take place July 6-10 at the Nachand Fieldhouse in downtown Jeff.
“We’re very excited about getting back into Jeffersonville and having our first basketball camp in years,” said Valentine, who is the Premium Sales and Services director at the KFC Yum! Center. “I had a great conversation with the mayor of Jeffersonville and his entire staff. The mayor’s very excited about us having the clinic and getting the opportunity for some kids to come at no cost and get them a hot meal while they’re there and have a good time.”
The latter is especially important, Valentine said, as the nation continues to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
“The kids all across the United States haven’t been able to get out really a whole lot since March, when everything was shut down, so we’re excited about getting the kids engaged a little bit,” Valentine said. “But we also want to keep them safe and healthy while they’re there.”
If all goes well, Indiana will be in Stage 5 — the final one — of Governor Eric Holcomb’s “Back on Track” plan.
Even if that’s the case, the camp will still have health precautions in place.
“We will check their temperatures everyday before entering the camp,” Valentine said, before adding that no more than two people will be allowed in the restroom at a time and hand sanitizer will be readily available.
There will also be measures taken in the instruction of the camp itself. The focus will be on “individual skill work to avoid scrimmaging and unnecessary touch.”
“The main thing is to get the kids back and have some fun, work on their physical fitness and their overall basketball game,” Valentine said. “We love kids and we just hope we can get as many kids out as possible and have a good time.”
The camp staff will also include Tony Branch, another member of Louisville’s 1980 national championship team as well as the former Jeffersonville High School athletic director; Brooke Valentine Thomas, a starter on the 2010-11 Jeff girls’ basketball team that won the Class 4A state championship; and former Jeff boys’ standouts Joe Estes and Darryl Baker.
There will be “full day” (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.) and “half day” (9 a.m. to noon) options for campers. The cost will be $160 per camper for a half day and $225 per camper for a full day. To register go to www.wileybrownbasketball.com. For more information email Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additionally, Valentine is hoping to add another camp later in the summer.
“Another extension of our camp is we’re going to do a free camp later in July, a back-to-school camp that’s going to be for any kid in the city of Jeffersonville at no cost,” he said. “We’re going to have a big celebration — a basketball camp for two or three days and then, following that, a full day of educators coming in and talking to kids and getting them prepared for the upcoming school year.”
Valentine is also hoping to involve the Jeffersonville police and fire departments as well.
“[Jeffersonville police chief] Kenny Kavanaugh and [Jeffersonville fire chief] Shawn Grant, both of them are just great guys. I talked to the mayor about having both of them work with us in getting applications to kids in some neighborhoods in Jeffersonville, some low-income kids that might need a little help in scholarship, to bridge that gap between the police department and firemen. Let them go out and just chat with the kids a little bit and offer them an opportunity to come to our camp at no cost. We’re excited about that. Kenny called [last week] and wanted to get together and put a great plan together for him and Shawn to go out and do that. It’s going to be great for the kids and great for the community, so we’re glad we’re able to partner with the mayor and the City of Jeff to get this done.”