Will Bynum of the Detroit Pistons held his 3rd Annual Elite Basketball Camp from August 5−7 at Chicago State University. Following the last day of the camp’s All Star Game, Bynum required all camp participants, coaches and spectators to sign the Norm Van Lier Non-Violence pledge, which coincided with Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signing legislation for anti-violence prevention strategies there at the camp.
The three-day overnight camp brought together Middle and High School players throughout the Chicago area to compete and showcase their blossoming skills. Bynum said a few words during the presentation with Quinn:
“Being able to see these kids grow, even over the short, three-day period, is what it’s all about. I want to give my campers hope, an opportunity to develop and excel at the game. I want to make sure these young kids are afforded all the opportunities they deserve, which is why my camp is just not about basketball. I incorporate leadership, mentoring and anti-violence components as break-out sessions as well.”
Bynum had hired two school buses—one on the South side, and one on the West side of the city—to bring children from 4 organizations to take part in signing the non-violence pledge for the event.
Organizations included the ABJ Youth Organization, which works with kids who have trouble turning there life around and the Magic Johnson Bridgescape School, which assists kids aged 13-21 to go back to high school and get their diplomas. The other two organizations are Books Over Balls, which helps kids receive a good education through their love of basketball, and After School Matters, which is an organization that provides after school programs to Chicago kids to keep them off the streets.
Bynum partnered with the Norm Van Lier Scholarship Foundation, asking all athletes that attend the camp to sign a non-violence pledge stating they will not partake in violence in Chicago. This is the second year Bynum has required the attending athletes to sign a non-violence pledge upon camp completion.
What do you think of the anti-violence pledge Bynum has his campers take?
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