First ever NextPlay basketball camp to be help August 1

Published 9:45 am Saturday, July 16, 2022

Point women’s basketball coach Tory Wooley and his wife, Nicci Wooley, are hosting a back to school basketball camp for the first time on Aug. 1 and 2. Nicci played basketball at LSU and is currently a communications professor at Point.

NextPlay is the Wooleys’ mentorship program.

The camp is free and will be held at the West Point gymnasium.The purpose of the camp is to provide school supplies to kids aged 7-11 while teaching them life skills along with the game of basketball.

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“It’s going to be a big deal,” Tory Wooley said. “We’re providing backpacks, pencils, pens and everything they need to go back to school. It’s totally free for students in the area. We’re also getting some former collegiate athletes and coaches to work the camp.”

Most of these supplies will be provided by the Unity of Faith Ministry in Lanett.

The camp itself is not affiliated with Point University. Wooley wants to do something to provide for the community.

“We just want to bless these kids and do something special for the community,” Wooley said. “I’m very intentional about connecting with people in the community. I’ve been mentoring boys in local elementary schools for ten years. We’re opening it for boys and girls in the entire community.”

The camp will not only feature basketball drills, there will be other events for the kids.

“There are going to be fun giveaways,” Wooley said. “We’re going to be learning the game of basketball. We’re going to go over basic skills. We want to teach them about character and encourage them to listen to your teachers. We just want to give them life skills. We want them to know that the community cares about them.”

The camp will feature around 30 to 35 kids, and it is almost at capacity.

Wooley hopes to turn this camp into something even more.

“This is going to be the start to something,” Wooley said. “I have a mentoring program where I go to local elementary schools and mentor boys that are primarily raised in single parent homes. We’re going to be doing stuff throughout the year to give back to the community. We’re going to have something every month. We’ll have a mentoring event where we’ll go over skills like respect, character and honor.”

Even during the basketball season, the Wooleys will hold mentoring events. Tory hopes to expand these events beyond 30-35 kids, but the camp will stay at that capacity so they can provide kids with enough supplies.