Trevond Barnes looks to mentor local athletes with three-weekend basketball camp

Published 11:50 am Tuesday, June 25, 2024

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Every kid looks up to someone, whether it be an athlete or an astronaut. Former LaFayette basketball star Tremond Barnes is looking to be that mentor for young athletes in Chambers County and surrounding areas by putting together a basketball camp like no other. 

Barnes is hosting a three-weekend camp titled the Chambers County Mentorship Program. The program is set to begin with the first weekend being July 12-14 and the camp wrapping up with the last weekend on July 26-28. The campers will report at 6 P.M. CT each day and will be let out at 8 P.M. The camp is open for boys and girls grades 7-12. The camp is completely free for all attendees. 

Several former athletes and current coaches from LaFayette will help facilitate the camp. Each weekend the camp will progress to become more advanced. Barnes and the rest of the coaches will start with the basics and fundamentals of basketball and continually progress as the campers improve. 

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“It’s a progression for sure,” Barnes said. “It’s nine days in total. The first three days are introductory, learning the terminology and how the fundamentals should be. Then, as the campers get better, it’ll progress into more advanced things and more in-depth details on the skills I’m trying to give them.” 

Barnes and the rest of the coaches bring a wealth of basketball knowledge, but the camp is about more than just basketball. 

Barnes wants this program to give young athletes role models, and there are few role models better than athletes who have been through similar circumstances and made it out on the other side. 

“I can make you a better basketball player, but I want to be able to make you a better athlete and person in general,” Barnes said. “In this area, we don’t have the greatest influences all the time. We don’t have a lot of people who have made it to the next level to play in college or just become a productive citizen. I just want to be able to be a big brother… and just show them the way to make it in life, not just with basketball.” 

In 2015, Barnes helped lead LaFayette to the 2A state championship on the hardwood. He then went on to play basketball at Hampton University, and Barnes has been playing professionally overseas since 2020. 

Throughout his basketball career, Barnes has learned a lot of lessons. One of the biggest things he learned was that there is so much more out there than what people see in their hometowns. Barnes also learned that every dream comes with hardship along the way. 

“Basketball has shown me so many different parts of the world,” Barnes said. “I’ve been able to see that people are so different in different places… There’s just so much life to enjoy in this world. With anything that you dream for and aspire for, the biggest lesson I’ve learned is that there’s going to be some hardships that come before that.” 

“My career started off an injury,” Barnes said. “That injury made me the player that I am today. It made me tough. Everything you try to strive for, it’s going to take some growing pains, some hardships and some things you have to go through.” 

Barnes has been chasing his dreams on the hardwood since he was in high school, but he also always had a drive to give back to the community that he grew up in. Barnes has been saving money since he started playing professionally in order to put something together in LaFayette. 

Until now, Barnes did not have the means to put together a program like this. He put together a YouTube channel, a podcast and a nonprofit organization titled MoreToTheGame. Barnes wanted to give back to his community through these ventures and now was the right time. 

“This was always something that I wanted to do,” Barnes said. “I didn’t necessarily think it would be the basketball camp or mentorship program, but I knew that I was fortunate and blessed to make it from LaFayette, play Division I basketball and go all the way to Virginia. Then, make it as a professional. The whole time, I’ve always known that God is using me and putting me in a position to help the people in my community.” 

“I’ve been planning on giving back to my community at some point, and this was just the right timing,” Barnes added. 

Barnes’ nonprofit is the sponsor for the camp and it shares the same values that will be presented through the mentorship program. 

“The goal, just like anything that I do, is to show that there’s so much more to basketball, life and athletics than we generally think,” Barnes said. “There’s so many little details to the game that the kids don’t know. There are so many details to being an athlete that we don’t know. It’s basically to give back, educate and get the spotlight to things that are under-covered.” 

The biggest difference between this mentorship program and other camps that take place throughout the summer is that it costs nothing to attend. Barnes decided to make this camp free because of how he came up in LaFayette. 

Barnes remembers going to free basketball camps in the area and going to LaFayette’s gym throughout the summer. He believes that without these avenues, he never would have become the basketball player that he is today. 

“When I was coming up, I went to the John T. Woody camp. That was free,” Barnes said. “We used to have the gyms open during the summers and we would be able to come in there for free. I was afforded the opportunity to get better at basketball, to stay out of trouble and give myself activities for free. I wanted to bring that back to the community, especially at LaFayette. The gym, the basketball program and the sports programs all together are a big part of our community. I know the paywall can keep a lot of people out… This was always something I wanted to do for free because I know this is how I can reach the most people in my community.” 

One of the biggest things that will be stressed at the camp will be effort. Barnes and the rest of the coaches will work to give the campers every tool and drill they need to grow as players and people. It is up to the campers to take that knowledge and use it to develop. 

“You’re going to get out of the camp how much effort you put into the camp,” Barnes said. “My goal is to at least make you look like a basketball player. How you attack the drills, how hard you go, how much you give to it is going to determine how good you look at the end of the camp.”