Dordt College News

Dordt Basketball Conducts Chicago Camp

July 25, 2011

Every square inch.

The statement has been tied to Dordt College promotional materials in recent history and refers to Abraham Kuyper’s statement “"There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: 'Mine!'"

This summer the men’s basketball team took that statement to basketball courts in Chicago as it hosted three days of camp at Chicago Hope Academy June 14-16.

The idea of the camp took hold this past basketball season when Coach Ross Douma mentioned the idea of a summer trip to Chicago for the Defenders. The project received funding from the Andreas Center for Reformed Scholarship and Service, allowing for two coaches and ten players to make the trip during the third week of June. They hosted between 25 and 30 players ranging in age from third grade through community college age athletes.

“I feel it is necessary to expose our players to as many diverse experiences as possible during their time in our program,” says Douma. “Chicago is very unique in that it is still segregated along ethnic lines. We were able to observe several different cultures in motion that we are unable to witness in Northwest Iowa.”

While the cultural differences were evident the camp concentrated on universal basics of the sport, cutting across differences with the Defenders putting the campers through ball handling and shooting drills along with post and wing workouts.

“It was our chance to show Christian love through basketball, helping anyone who wanted to learn about basketball,” wrote Shawn Keizer in a journal he kept throughout the week. “No kid in Chicago would be turned down for our camp and the team worked hard to help in any way possible.”

Away from the camp the Defenders had the opportunity to take in several experiences ranging from deep dish pizza to a Cubs baseball game at Wrigley Field and a time to participate in an open gym with NCAA Division I member Chicago State.

“Not only did this trip serve as an opportunity to experience life outside of rural Iowa, it also afforded us the opportunity to spend time together as a team and play basketball for a week in the summer” said Douma. “Team chemistry is such an important component for basketball and sports in general; being able to move that forward in the off-season will certainly benefit us next season.”

The final morning of the week found the basketball players and coaches at the Illinois Holocaust Museum.

“The museum challenged our thoughts and actions towards minorities and questioned life perspectives, which can only make us stronger and closer to Christ,” wrote Keizer.

While basketball, service and skill development was the impetus for the trip, Douma has longer range plans in mind for organizing this trip and others like it for future teams.

“Without question many of our players now look at the world through a different lens as a result of this trip. There is a need for Christians to engage and reform every part of God’s creation,” says Douma. “Perhaps as a result of this experience, some of our players might be inclined to use their gifts and talents in an urban center upon graduation. We look forward to continuing this partnership and providing our players the opportunity to explore if God might be leading them to serve in places such as Chicago.”

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