Donald Hicks Basketball Camp: Helping Children

Staff Writer

Donald Hicks Basketball Camp is in its 18th year, and it’s still going strong.

The camp not only focuses on basketball, but also on values and making friends.

Kindergarteners through high school seniors are encouraged to make friends, and everyone is welcome.

This year, diversified campers came from all over including Atlanta, Georgia, Wilmington, North Carolina, and counties surrounding Catawba County.

“Some of these campers have been here for 16 years,” Hicks said. “But many are new.”

Although there is a different group of campers, Hicks is encouraged that his camp’s Christian teachings will continue to bless them.

He and his staff are all passionate about serving children and helping them be the best they can be in society.

“It’s because of everybody being here to help that our camp is so successful,” Hicks said. “We truly love the kids.”

Along with a caring and nurturing staff, Hicks selects speakers to come in and inspire the children.

These speakers range from county managers, to doctors and dentists, to law enforcement, and many other occupations.

The campers get to ask questions and learn about different careers.

Paramount is prayer. Before each meal and for each speaker, a prayer is spoken.

Hicks allows the campers to volunteer to pray.

With heads bowed and eyes closed, they pray to Christ.

“I’m watching them mature,” he said. “I’m watching them care for others.”

Hicks is thrilled to see children accepting leadership positions amongst themselves.

They help other campers, help to clean up, or are just there to be a friend and give encouragement.

“I see a difference in that the kids are accepting responsibility and not having to be told everything,” Hicks said.

As far as having issues between the campers, Hicks said that when they pop up, they are resolved quickly.

“They get the message we’re going to be a loving family,” he shared. “And you have to show your best character at home.”

Hicks is humble and gives his staff more credit than himself with the positive progress that the campers are making.

“I’m just the man behind the desk,” he said.

When it comes to actions versus lecturing, Hicks said, “I hope that I show more than I say.”

Although the campers come from different socioeconomic backgrounds and ethnicities, they learn to appreciate each other and work together as a team. They can leave their differences at home and focus on bettering their lives.

“Most of the world lives worse than we do,” Hicks said. “They learn to be grateful for what God’s given them.”

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