Byrd Basketball Foundation founder Adem Byrdsell was so excited at the end of his foundation basketball camp on Saturday. “I am grateful for this moment. In November I was involved in a car crash and never thought a day like this would be possible.”
He was involved in a car crash and was hospitalized for 17 days, the first 6 in ICU. He was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury, C5 spinal fracture, severely bruised lungs and two rib fractures. For the first 5 days, a ventilator was his lifeline as his body fought to heal itself with the help of an amazing team of medical practitioners, including his doctors, nurses, and therapists.
“Today I am on my way to a full recovery, only by the Grace of God. I am running track and able to play basketball at full intensity. My C5 spinal fracture is healed after 6 weeks in a neck brace.”
The experience has made him more determined to elevate his game and help upcoming ball players elevate their game. While doing this, he also wants to share his story and tell those eager boys, who love the game, that they can overcome any obstacle with hope, faith, and a healthy body, some of the traits that helped him to heal as miraculously as he did.
“Now, more than ever, I am determined to host the first camp and build it into a program combining healthy living and sports with your help.” Adem posted on his Fundraising page.
The camp lasted from June 27-July 2, 2022. Initially planned for 12 quickly grew to an average of 24 campers a day.
A typical day started with breakfast, mentoring session, basketball stations/workouts, lunch, and scrimmage. Transportation funds were also made available to campers. There were coaches who spoke on various topics which included sportsmanship, importance of education and why fundamentals in the game is important. Speakers included Coach Claudius Thompson from Rebound Liberia/Vision Basketball, Coach Togba Ngangana of Heritage Academy, Emmanuel Paye who called in from Cyprus and a host of others.
The campers toured the Invincible Park on a field trip. They also had the opportunity to witness a high school game at the YMCA Gym.
The closing program was held at Heritage Academy in Oldest Congo Town. There was a three on three event as well as an award ceremony.
Many of the campers speaking mentioned that they really did enjoy the time and wish that another one be organized soon, hopefully in December.
Revena Lobbo, the only female at the event, was excited about the opportunity of competing against boys. She believed that the camp had lifted her confidence in the game and given her new friends.
Adem Byrdsell took the opportunity to thank all the donors whose contribution made this a huge success.
“I want to say a big thank you to all donors cause without you it won’t be possible. We were able to raise a lot of funds which will make it possible to run another camp come December.”
Kenndy, a student of the Alexander B Cummings School, who is one of the campers also gave his thanks and appreciation; “It was very nice to be a part of this camp. I learnt a lot and followed instructions. For my entire time playing basketball, I have never been a part of a camp like this. It was a great opportunity.”
Madam Ellen Pratt, mother of Adem also thanked all the parents in attendance for trusting her with their children. She also informed all in attendance that the campers will all be awarded one year membership to the Monrovia YMCA which will enable them to use the gym facility to continue learning the game of basketball.
“Thanks to our donors,” she added, “through your kind donations this camp was made free to all participants,” she went on.
Medals and special awards were given to campers and coaches.
The day ended with parents, campers, coaches and the organizers all having a big lunch together.
When it was all done, the camp was an A+ for youth basketball in the country. Adem has raised the bar and we look forward to more of such camps by his foundation as well as others in the near future.
Where you are at the camp, let us know what it meant to you in the comment session below.