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Basketball camp teaches more than court skills

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Coach Harvin Council and Vision Basketball Camp Coach Harvin Council and Vision Basketball Camp
ELGIN, SC (WIS) -

Coach Harvin Council has been teaching and mentoring from the sidelines at his Vision Basketball Camp for the last 17 years.

"My main focus is to get these kids to understand basketball and sports is fine, but in order to get to those points, you've got to have character not be a character," said Council.

It's not all about athletic drills. Council tries to instill life skills that can be used on and off the court.

"Every day isn't going to be a great day on the basketball court or doing anything in life," said parent Matia Goodwin. "He just really encourages them to keep going, working hard and doing their very best not only in basketball but also in education."

Goodwin's 11-year-old son Landon has been coming to the camp for the last four years.

6-year-old Morgan Champion says the game isn't always easy but she always has fun.

"Practice makes perfect," she said. "You get to shoot a lot and it's fun to play basketball."

 The kids are also mentored by those who've been in their shoes: former USC forward and current pro basketball player Carlos Powell spoke to the kids about hard work.

"A lot of people have God given talent and they just don't put any work into it," said Powell. "But I always say, 'Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.'"

Powell played in the NBA and now plays overseas.

"Hard work isn't just about putting forth the effort in basketball," he said. "You put forth that same effort in basketball that you do in school work."

The kids are also coached by former campers. Volunteer Russell Stewart went to the camp in middle school.

"Basketball and life skills go hand in hand," said Stewart. "So, with hard work, character and teamwork they can achieve anything."

Anything is possible. But it starts with the right direction.

"I just want to be remembered as someone who tried to help," said Council. "Someone who wanted to teach young people the right way to do things."

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