Sports

Basketball camp continues thirty year tradition during pandemic

Campers will be six feet apart during drills.

Asheville – The 30th annual Crossfire basketball camp is still shooting to hold sessions in late July and August. Co-founders Randy Shepherd and Jamie Johnson have trained over 22,000 campers across the globe, from Argentina and Austria to their hometown of Asheville. This year’s camp in the midst of a global pandemic will operate differently, but Shepherd and Johnson still have the same heart for basketball they have had for the last thirty years.

Crossfire is the apex of two things that Shepherd and Johnson believe are most important in the upbringing of young athletes: discipline and faith. Drills and repetition focus on the development of essential skills for the game, says Shepherd. He remarked that parents are often surprised by the student athlete’s boundless improvement. But parents are most impressed by the discipline instilled in their children. Roping up hundreds of campers to listen is no slam dunk. 

Shepherd and Johnson’s real passion lies far beyond basketball. “The Lord lead us in 1993 to come back to Asheville and start Crossfire,” said Shepherd. “A pastor with a Bible in his hand is not going to reach as many people than with a ball in his hand, but we’re sharing the same message… The reason that we play is to get an audience to share the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

To comply with COVID-19 state regulations, only 45 spots are available for each session. Participant’s temperatures will be checked every morning and answer a questionnaire on health conditions. Campers will be spaced six feet apart. Johnson assured that there will be little human-to-human contact, as the camp’s main focus is on drills and building individual skills, “They’re not rubbing shoulders during drill time of fundamentals,” said Johnson. 

Per North Carolina law, masks aren’t necessary while shooting or dribbling, but are required during breaks. “In a camp setting, they will not have to wear the mask during strenuous drills. But in break time or bathroom time they will put the mask back on,” said Shephard.

“We work them hard and they have fun, but more importantly we’re going to share God’s word with them because that’s what’s going to go a lot further than basketball,” said Shepherd. 

The three co-ed sessions are Mon-Thurs on the weeks of July 20, July 27, and August 3 at the West Asheville Baptist Church Gym. The camp is open to ages 8-17. For more information and to register, scan QR code or go to:

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