Clarks Summit University welcomed approximately 160 high school students for Defender Basketball Camp during the last full week in June. Athletes from nearby states as well as Michigan, South Carolina and Connecticut came for instruction in the sport.
Sports and Spiritual Life
Defender camp uses basketball to help share the gospel and encourage each athlete in his walk with Christ. Wes Uffelman, CSU’s sports information director, served as one of the assistant camp directors. “Basketball is something that had a big impact on my life, and I want to use it to see campers come to Christ and to grow in their walk with Christ,” he says. “Being able to interact with the campers and show that that you can love Jesus and still be a good, tough basketball player is something I believe is very important. Campers are not just improving their basketball skills but strengthening their spiritual walk as well.”
Once a Defender, Always a Defender
CSU students coach the younger athletes, and former Defender basketball players return to their alma mater to help at the camp. “The Defender basketball program is one big family,” explains Uffelman. “Some of the people I look forward to seeing most at camp are people who helped paved the way for me to become a Defender here at Clarks Summit University.” Alumni who return span a wide range of graduation years, dating back to previous decades.
Highlights of the Week
On Thursday night, all of the campers gathered in CSU’s Recreation Center for a game in the Agape League, similar to junior varsity. Alumnus Don Davis took the microphone to announce the game and the crowd went crazy. “Everyone watching was cheering, and the atmosphere was unbelievable. You would have thought the game was for a state championship the way everyone was into it,” recalls Uffelman. The counselors played half-court knockout as campers cheered them on; Dan Decker was crowned the champion.