By Mark Kern
January 19, 2012
A host of Bobcats players and Lady Cats took time out of their schedule to give back to the community on January 19, 2012, as Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Charlotte attended a camp put on by the Bobcats that stressed the importance of exercise.
Kids from ages 6-13 participated with their mentors in different stations hosted by different players and Lady Cats that allowed the children to have some fun while getting in some exercise, as well at stations including passing, shooting, ball-handling, fitness and layups.
However, before they could start having fun with the players, Bobcats Head Athletic Trainer Steve Stricker made sure the kids were ready to go. He and the players led stretching warmups the Bobcats do before their practice and games. After all of the children were loose and ready to go, it was time to get to exercising.
"It was amazing," rookie Kemba Walker said of hanging out with the youngsters while helping host the camp. "We have been so busy with the early part of the season, so to be able to come out here and hang out with the kids is awesome."
Byron Mullens had the same opinion when talking about how special the night was.
"To be able to come out here with the kids, it’s just great," said Mullens. "It really means a lot for these kids to come out here and meet us NBA players. I enjoyed it."
After an hour of fun, the kids met back in the middle of the court and listened as Stricker talked to the kids about the importance of getting exercise.
He recommended that the kids get at least 30 minutes of exercise six days a week. He stressed to the kids that not only does exercising help you physically, it also helps you mentally and often helps you get better grades the more you exercise.
After a group photo, the campers were given one final gift on their way out as they each received a “ fit pack.”
"This event put on by the Charlotte Bobcats gave our children and program an opportunity that we wouldn’t get otherwise, to meet the star power of Charlotte," said Big Brothers Big Sisters Match Support Specialist Les Davis. "It allowed the kids to come out and really have a good time and to play around with these guys. It allowed the kids to come out and hang with the star power of Charlotte, but also to understand that they are human beings."
"A lot of these kids are underprivileged, and through these programs and organizations, they get to see and do things that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to do due to their situation."
It was a truly special night for everyone involved. Davis added that he enjoyed the night and hopes the two programs can continue to keep working together and have events like this in the future.