DECATUR – RJ Walker Jr. attended Wayne Dunning’s Brothers and Sisters in Christ BASIC basketball camp as a child and his and Dunning family have always been close.
So when Walker signed up to play basketball at the University of Idaho, a Division I school, it was obvious he would visit the camp to talk to the kids and get them to aim high.
“I pray at night,” Walker told the youth. “I believe in myself and I have faith. You must have faith.
Walker’s dad, Rodney Walker, runs the SkyWalker International Sports Complex, where the camp is held, and basketball has always been a part of young Walker’s life, he said.
“I will never forget,” Walker said. “I met (Dunning) in fourth grade. He was my substitute teacher and he told us he got drenched by Michael Jordan. And then he always told us he played basketball and I always admired him.
The young Walker was recruited by Idaho because during the pandemic shutdowns, Illinois schools were among the few still playing, and when Idaho officials saw him play, they offered him a place in their university.
People also read …
Being away from home has been good for him, Walker said, prompting him to devote his time to the hard work of getting ready for the gym and weight room, sometimes two sessions a day. He didn’t declare a major, deciding to spend his freshman year in Idaho focusing on basketball and its required classes, though he turned to athletic therapy as a career.
Support local journalism
Your membership makes our reporting possible.
Dunning ran the camp for 20 years, inviting young people to come and learn the basics of basketball and also some life lessons. Guest speakers like Walker urge children to stay in school, find and pursue their passion, and stay on the right path.
“The camp is a base basketball camp,” Dunning said. “It’s actually a Christian basketball camp, sponsored by Faith Fellowship Christian Church (where Dunning is pastor). We just have a lot of basketballs lying around and we’re trying to teach life skills. We teach the love of Christ. We pray in the morning and we pray when the session is over, and we just teach them fellowship, unity, good understanding, and the world events that are unfolding right now.
During Wednesday’s session, Walker played a game with the kids and was generous in passing the ball and encouraging them to play most of the time. those who play and take turns on the floor as part of the action.
Harlei Coleman-Tate attended because her grandmother pushed her.
“I never really had a passion for sports,” said Harlei, a student at American Dreamers STEM Academy. “I wanted to try it out to see if it was something that interested me and if I had a passion for it, and I think it interests me and I want to improve myself.”
Lanae Davis, a niece of Dunning, plays basketball at Eisenhower High School, where she will be a junior this month.
“I went to this camp a few years ago,” she said. “I’m learning more and learning to stay humble and keep my stamina. That’s what I love, learning to keep my stamina.
PHOTOS: Wayne Dunning BASIC Fundamentals Basketball Camp
Dunning_Wayne 1 7.25.18.jpg
Dunning_Wayne 2 7.25.18.jpg
Wayne Dunning Base Camp 1 7.25.18.jpg
Wayne Dunning Base Camp 2 7.25.18.jpg
Wayne Dunning Base Camp 3 7.25.18.jpg
Wayne Dunning Base Camp 4 7.25.18.jpg
Wayne Dunning Base Camp 5 7.25.18.jpg
Wayne Dunning Base Camp 6 7.25.18.jpg
Wayne Dunning Base Camp 7 7.25.18.jpg
Wayne Dunning Base Camp 8 7.25.18.jpg
Wayne Dunning Base Camp 9 7.25.18.jpg
Wayne Dunning Base Camp 10 7.25.18.jpg
Wayne Dunning Base Camp 11 7.25.18.jpg
Wayne Dunning Base Camp 12 7.25.18.jpg
Wayne Dunning Base Camp 13 7.25.18.jpg
Wayne Dunning Base Camp 14 7.25.18.jpg
Wayne Dunning Base Camp 15 7.25.18.jpg
Contact Valerie Wells at (217) 421-7982. Follow her on Twitter: @modgirlreporter
The following was communicated to us by NSU: NATCHITOCHES, La. – Northwestern State University, Louisiana State University of Alexandria, Central Louisiana Technical Community College, Louisiana Christian University and the City of Alexandria will present Rock Your Future College Ready Expo beginning at 6 p.m. Friday, March 25, corner of Third and Murray Streets under the […]
A public high school in northern British Columbia and an independent school in Surrey are closed due to high teacher and staff absences. The temporary school closures are the first in the province since the start of the Omicron wave. The British Columbia Ministry of Education said there were currently “functional closures” at Hazelton High […]
[ad_1] Through Michael brown, Contributor to the CP editorial | Tuesday 06 July 2021 Michael Brown holds a doctorate. in Near Eastern Languages ââand Literatures at New York University and has been a professor in several seminars. He is the author of 25 books and hosts a nationwide daily radio show, The Line of Fire. […]