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Kids learn basketball from McCullough

Boys and girls, ranging in age from 9 to 14, are taking advantage this week of the opportunity to learn about the game of basketball from a coach who has coached outstanding teams and players and won championships in Georgia and Florida.

They are taking part in Bainbridge High School Bearcats head coach Rickey McCullough’s basketball camp, which began Monday and runs through Thursday.

McCullough, who had an outstanding 26-year head coaching career at Chipley, Fla., High School, which included a 599-229 record 20 District Champions and 15 Regional championships and led the Bearcats to a 27-4 record, the Region 1AAAA championship and a berth in the State Class AAAA Final 4 this past season, says the key to success in basketball is executing fundamentals.

The Bearcats also defeated the East Gadsden High School Jaguars from Quincy, Fla., one of the top class AAAA teams in Florida, three times last season.

“We have 29 kids out here this week, and we just want them to learn the fundamentals of the game and have some fun,” McCullough said during Tuesday’s break. “We want to teach them the proper way to shoot, dribble, rebound and play defense. We also have a hot shot contest and play some three-on-three games.”

McCullough is conducting two seasons each day, a 9- to 11-year-old session from 8 to 10 a.m., and a 12- to 14-year-old session from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

In addition to winning the Region championship and advancing to the Final Four, McCullough’s 2008-09 Bearcats won the Holiday Hoopfest championship at Maclay School in Tallahassee, Fla. They also competed in the Capital City Holiday Classic at the Tallahassee Leon County Civic Center.

Four players from McCullough’s 2008-09 team—Melzie Johnson, Antroine Williford, James Lodman and Marquis Williams—signed college athletic scholarships.

In addition to the fundamentals of the game, the Bearcats head coach is also teaching the campers the importance of being in shape.

With that in mind, he begins every camp session with a stretching and exercise routine.

Assisting McCullough with camp instruction are some current and former Bearcat players.