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Green Terror basketball camp enjoys 'reaching out'

When Tim Stewart was growing up, he never had the chance to attend a camp where he played in an air-conditioned gym for a week under the tutelage of current college players

Instead, the McDaniel forward and Smyrna, Del., native said he was forced to play against players much older than him on courts that, sometimes, weren't in the best shape.

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These days, as a senior-to-be for the Green Terror men's basketball team, Stewart, along with a few other teammates, gets a chance to pass on his knowledge of the game to young players during weeklong summer camps.

Despite not having the same opportunities some of the kids he works with at McDaniel's Green Terror Basketball Camps have, Stewart said being able to teach the game is one of the things he looks forward to the most.

"Even if I didn't get paid, I'd probably do it anyway," said Stewart, who averaged a team-high 15.6 points last season. "Because you just make a big impact on a child every day. …And [they get] to play with college students, and learn from them and college coaches."

Stewart sat on the bleachers with a clipboard in his hand Wednesday afternoon as camp games were in full swing. He was managing a group of elementary and middle school boys who would often run up and tell him of a shot they made or a game their team won while playing at McDaniel's Gill Center.

Stewart focused on teaching basic basketball fundamentals, though there weren't many aspects of the game he didn't touch on.

"The only thing he hasn't taught us is to dunk," said 10-year-old JT Calhoun, who attends Spring Garden Elementary School in Hampstead. "Last year I played on a travel team, and I was kind of a ball hog. This [camp] has taught me to pass more."

McDaniel coach Kevin Curley said roughly 70 campers filed into his gym for the program's second week of camp this summer. Between stations and skill-building in the morning, and games in the afternoon, the coach said maintaining a fun atmosphere for the campers is the most important goal.

After that, it's about letting his team establish something with the children of Carroll County.

"I like doing the camps because obviously we get a chance to meet a lot of kids in the community," Curley said. "They get a chance to meet and develop relationships with some of our players."

Stewart isn't the only Green Terror player who especially enjoyed working at the camp. Another soon-to-be senior, Duane Echols, said the teaching experience is something he always looks forward to.

"I'm trying to get them to understand that working hard is a great way to make it," said Echols, who averaged 5.2 points per game last season. "And that, if you work hard, you'll be able to go far."

When Stewart is out in Westminster, he said it's not uncommon for former campers to say hello to him. While they may also come to McDaniel basketball games during the season, having them recognize him when he's not in uniform at places like Chick-fil-A is special.

It makes him feel like he's made a difference in their lives.

"We're reaching out to the community," Stewart said. "We're not just staying together or just being a college. We're being a college town, reaching out."

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