DECATUR — For the youngsters at Wayne Dunning's Basic Fundamentals Basketball Camp, theirs is not to reason why.
When Dunning lined them up and told them to hop around the gym at SkyWalker International Sports Complex, they just did it, though some were laughing as they hopped.
The weeklong camp has been an annual summer event for 20 years and several campers were repeat customers. Though most of the camp is spent on basketball drills and building up young bodies, Dunning also spent time talking to the roughly 30 kids about responsibility, and having guest speakers come in to tell the kids about their careers.
Jalynn Barbee, 13, will be in eighth grade at Hope Academy next month and Dunning was his basketball coach in previous years. He came to the camp last year and returned this year.
“Last year, I came, and it was fun, and I wanted to experience it again,” Jalynn said. “He's a nice coach and a nice teacher. He makes sure we do what we've got to do.”
Dunning, pastor of Faith Fellowship Christian Church, also works as a substitute teacher in Decatur schools and serves as a trustee on the Richland Community College board, in addition to coaching basketball, hosting his camp, and a number of other community initiatives.
Though Kelyah Donaldson doesn't play on her school team at Argenta-Oreana, where she'll be in sixth grade this year, she does play on her church team at First Church of the Nazarene. This is her third year at Dunning's camp.
“I like to play basketball and it's been fun every year,” she said. “I like to learn about basketball and stuff. I feel like I'm improving.”
Dunning divides them into teams and has them play games against each other, and that's her favorite part of the camp, she said.
Addison Newbon attended the camp when she was younger, and now that she's a junior at St. Teresa High School, she's come back to help, and she brought friends.
“She invited me to come and help out with the kids,” said Emily Birschbach, who will also be a junior at St. Teresa this year. “It's fun to help the kids with fundamentals and just help them learn.”
Addison remembers a lot of competitions when she was at camp, such as dribbling and shooting, and that's what she liked best as a child, she said.
“Last summer, (Dunning) asked me to come and help, and I did, and I really enjoyed it,” Addison said. “So I decided to come back and bring my friends to help.”