UTC men’s basketball coach Will Wade and his team made a stop at Notre Dame High School to run a free holiday basketball clinic for local youth players. The camp (for 1st-6th graders) was organized with the help of Book McCray (a former UTC Moc basketball player), who runs a local foundation that’s main goal is helping turn “boys to men.”
Coach Wade, his staff and his players gave a late Christmas present to about 60 youth players (girls and boys) in the Chattanooga area. They poured their hearts out with these young players for about 3 hours, and they not only taught the fundamentals of basketball, they shared their passion for the game and encouraged these young student-athletes to reach for the stars in their athletic careers and beyond.
Book McCray, who had a stellar career with the Mocs in the 70’s, has spent a lifetime making a difference in the lives of kids in Chattanooga. Book has used the sport of basketball as a way to reach out to kids and impact them far beyond the confines of a gym. “We founded “Boys-To-Men” on the biblical principle of 1st Corinthians 13:11,” said McCray. “We work with young men, helping walk the pathway to manhood, stressing 1. Education, 2. Respect for self and others and 3. Crafting a solid plan for a positive life after graduating from high school.”
“We are thankful to Coach Wade and his staff for conducting the holiday basketball clinic for the young people,” said McCray. “We are also extremely appreciative of our partnership with Notre Dame H.S. (Coach Sompayrac and Coach Nerbun) when it comes to providing a venue for events such as this provide a positive outlet for the young people of Chattanooga.”
Athletic Director Sompayrac said, "The camp ended with the youngsters receiving a Mocs basketball poster with the schedule on it. The kids were really excited when they got their posters and you could tell a big part of the excitement was the players and coaches on the poster were the ones leading them, encouraging them and having fun with them during the camp. It has been said, that there is no greater gift to give than your time. With all the smiles on the faces of kids leaving the gym, you could tell Coach Wade, his staff, and players (along with Book McCray) helped deliver a very special Christmas gift to these young basketball players that they will always remember."