Empowering girls on the court and off

Published 1:30 pm Thursday, June 16, 2016

By Titus Mohler

The Charlotte Gazette

One of Randolph-Henry High School’s former female basketball standouts is extending a helping hand to guide local girls on the basketball court and in life.

This weekend, former Lady Statesman, college and semi-professional basketball player Monique Williams is presenting the Hoops and Heels Camp, a free and unique opportunity exclusively for rising fifth- through rising 12th-grade girls in Charlotte County.

Former Randolph-Henry High School standout Monique Williams will be giving back to the community and its girls this weekend with her Hoops and Heels Camp.

Former Randolph-Henry High School standout Monique Williams will be giving back to the community and its girls this weekend with her Hoops and Heels Camp.

The overnight camp will be held at Central Middle School Friday through Sunday, featuring instruction from Williams, her team of former college players and the Randolph-Henry and Central coaching staffs.

The idea behind the camp was simply stated to Randolph-Henry Head Varsity Girls Basketball Coach D.J. Jack, who said Williams “was interested in doing something for the girls at Randolph-Henry. She wanted to give back something to the school.”

Williams has maintained her connection to girls basketball in the area.

“I actually have been going to a few of the girls’ games last season, and I did a one-day clinic with them that was about a half a day last year, and I wanted to do something bigger this year,” Williams said.

“I wanted to be a little bit more involved.”

The camp will include two main parts. During the day, girls who participate will be led through a series of drills and workouts to improve differents part of their game.

“Monique is going to come in and do some fundamental drills with the guards and the bigs, kind of break down stuff,” Jack said.

Williams played briefly for Virginia Wesleyan College and played semi-professional ball in the Women’s Blue Chip Basketball League with M.I. Express Women’s Basketball. She has also coached Amateur Athletic Union girls basketball.

Emphasis in the camp will be given to individual offensive and defensive skill development, and campers will have the opportunity to showcase their skills in games and competitions that promote teamwork and sportsmanship.

During the “lock-in” portion of the camp in the evening, Williams will shift the focus to helping prepare the girls for life.

“They struggle with a lot of other things that (are) beyond the athletic field or the court or whatever, and a lot of those things (are) just geared towards what is life going to be like for me once I graduate from high school, or what’s the next phase of my life?” Williams said.

“And so this is an opportunity for me to kind of combine the things that I’ve done professionally, in terms of youth development and youth counseling, to bring it to the forefront, where during the day, we’re focused on the basketball skills, and then in the evening, we’re focusing on some of those life development skills.”

For sleeping, girls are instructed to bring a blanket, pillow and air mattress and pump or sleeping bag.

They should also bring crackers, chips, fruit, medications and toiletries like toothpaste, soap, deodorant, washcloths and towels, shower shoes or flip flops and possibly a laundry bag.

For workshops, they should bring a spiral notebook and a pen or pencil.

They should leave jewelry and valuables at home.

Check in for the camp is Friday at 9 a.m. and check out time is Sunday at noon.

For more information, contact Coach D.J. Jack at (434) 665-8450 or Sandy Mayhew at (434) 736-8630.