Basketball players

Ohio State basketball players support LiFEsports camp in Linden community

For Buckeye basketball player Seth Towns, the chance to support and inspire summer camp students at the Linden Community Recreation Center was a family affair.

Towns, a forward for the Ohio State University men’s team, grew up in Columbus, often played hoop in Linden and when he took to the field this week to play dodgeball, some of the campers he he aimed were family.

“I had, I think, eight or nine cousins ​​running in there. My uncle is here and so many people I know and grew up with,” he said.

Last week, Towns was joined by most of the team and several members of the Columbus Police Division to celebrate the final week of the Lifesports summer camp. Approximately 80 campers attended the eight-week camp in Linden. It is one of many camps serving area youth through the university’s nationally recognized LiFE program.sports program.

“Our goal at LiFEsports is to teach life skills through sport. We want to teach leadership, we want to teach self-control, effort, teamwork, social responsibility, and we do that using sports as a hook,” LiFE said.sports Deputy Director of Programming Catelen Ramsey.

Sport is the perfect place to learn and practice these life skills, the ones young people need on the pitch but also in life, she said.

Lifesports partners with the Columbus Department of Recreation and Parks to operate the Linden Camps and other community centers in the city.

“We bring supplies, we bring staff, we bring our evidence-based practices and program,” Ramsey said. “We do field trips; we are hosting a career day at Ohio State to give them exposure on campus. We have various community events taking place in Linden. We help support what’s happening in the neighborhood.

The basketball team and Columbus police played dodgeball, games of skill and other drills. Starfish Assignment, a charity that works with law enforcement to support the communities they serve, helped coordinate Community Day.

“We love these opportunities to bring people together,” said Starfish Assignment founder Nicole Banks. “We are very pleased to work with the Buckeyes and make this an unforgettable celebration for the Linden community.”

Ramsey said the camp and related campus visits can be transformative for attendees. About 35 campers visited the university this summer, and less than half had previously visited Ohio State.

“Now they’re talking about Ohio State. This is the big picture of the exhibition – how do we give back and build these relationships so that children can be a bigger part of our future in the community? said Ramsey.

Towns said he grew up in summer camps like Linden’s. He said it’s important for the university to get involved in the community.

“They are teaching these kids life skills. They teach them to be good sportsmen, to be leaders,” he said. “Particularly in Columbus, it’s Ohio State. … We have many eyes on us and with those eyes comes responsibility. It’s like the example of being the model citizen. If we come here and illustrate these things, then I think we’re doing our job pretty well.

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