Buzzy Love wants children to leave their game controllers at home on Monday.
He’s got something better to put in their hands — a basketball.
“We just want to occupy their minds,” said Love, a local basketball legend. “We hope that instead of sitting in front of the computer or playing video games that they’ll come out and get some exercise and hopefully will take on and they will love it.”
Since Johnson City and Washington County schools are closed on Monday, Legion Recreation Center, 111 Legion St., will host the Buzzy Love Elite Training Basketball Camp for ages 8-16.
The daylong camp, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., is designed to get youngsters off the couch and into the game. It costs $10 per player and participants are encouraged to bring a lunch. Love will coach the campers alongside his nephew, Damon Johnson and a host of other local basketball players.
“All we really want to do is re-familiarize them with the basics of how to play the game,” Love said.
The camp is formatted for all skill levels and will include drills that teach players how to dribble with their weak hand, plus Love’s personal favorite — shooting off the glass.
“It’s a lost art,” he said.
Even in one day, the young basketball players will be able to see their potential because Love will show them practice techniques they can work on at home.
“Your best practice is what you learn here and work on at home,” he said. “We try to impress them with something they don’t know to try to instill a work ethic.”
Many of the regulars at Legion Recreation Center already know Love as the “playground legend.” He’s been conducting basketball camps for the last 16 years.
At 62 years old, Love can still run up and down the court with his campers and he demonstrates every move or drill he wants them to do. Because they see him do it first, Love says it motivates them to do it, too.
Love hasn’t tired of interacting with children or the time it takes to stay in shape so he can keep up with them.
“My job is to show them that it’s fun,” he said. “I relate to children really well. I don’t believe in yelling. I just act like one of them when I’m with them.”
For more information on the Buzzy Love Elite Training Basketball Camp, call Legion Recreation Center at 461-4850.