Originally from Maryland Lawrence Hamm Jr., moved to Harrisburg along with his mother where he attended John Harris High School. Lawrence admits that he wasn’t popular or one of the cool kids but the training he received from coaches such as Des Mangus, Kirk Smallwood, and many others, stuck with him as he started building his image as an athlete. As a result of his desire to give back to the community that gave him his start on the road to success, Mr. Hamm started the Harrisburg Hamm Camp.
The original Hamm Camp actually started over a decade ago when during his summer breaks from high school, Lawrence would spend time in Maryland with his father who always checked on his progress throughout the year. It was Lawrence Hamm Sr. who put Lawrence Hamm Jr. through the original “Hamm Camp”, which consisted of drills that would focus on Lawrence Hamm Jr’s weaknesses and prepare him for the future, thus giving Lawrence Hamm Jr. the ground work for his Hamm Camp today.
The Harrisburg Hamm Camp turns six this year and has plans to be better than before. Over the past few years I have heard great things about Hamm Camp but to actually see what goes on inside of the Evangeline Kimber Gymnasium at John Harris High School is an awesome experience and something that the Harrisburg community should share in and support. Lawrence says “ Hamm Camp is more than just the fundamentals of basketball because there is more to life than just basketball.”
Lawrence started laying the ground work for Hamm Camp during his 2nd year playing basketball overseas in 2005. Lawrence said the first camp was horrible, they did not have any organization, they ran out of T-shirts for the kids, and he ended up learning a lot from their mistakes that day.
Lawrence says he is always honest with his kids and he lets them ask whatever questions they need to ask. One camper asked him “how come you didn't go to the NBA”? Lawrence humbly stated “I don’t know, maybe I just wasn't good enough”. Lawrence also wants to show his campers that you don’t have to participate in illegal activities to have money or be successful.
Years later and still growing strong, Lawrence really enjoys seeing his campers grow up and go through the program year after year with the skills they have acquired. What I found amazing is that once the campers leave the program and go off to college, those students who return to help with running the program are given a stipend for their efforts.
With all of his talent, world travel and life experiences, Mr. Hamm has never set himself apart nor let his success go to his head, instead he comes back to his roots to offer Harrisburg’s youth the opportunity to participate in an elite basketball camp in their own community at no cost to them. This isn’t just any basketball camp, yes the campers will learn how to shoot, pass, dribble, and other techniques to improve their basketball skills but Lawrence designed Hamm Camp to offer life skills such as etiquette, communication, dressing for success, and exposure to higher education along with games, prizes, sneaker giveaways sponsored by Under Armour, and guest speakers. During my visit at the camp, the guest speaker for that day was ABC 27 Talk Show host Patricia Robinson, who spoke to the campers about mediocrity, respect, and adversity.
It was my pleasure to speak with some of the campers about their experience with Hamm Camp, what they learned, and where they plan to go with the knowledge and training they received. I asked some of the campers what they want to be when they grow up one wanted to be a District Attorney and the other an entrepreneur.
Lawrence says Hamm Camp continues to grow and improve each year and he is very grateful for his staff and all of the help he receives to be able to offer the camp each year. Lawrence would like for Hamm Camp to live long after he is gone and continue to help encourage the youth in a positive direction.
I learned a few things during my first time at Hamm Camp. First, the public is invited to attend on the last day of the camp, second, the young people are truly walking away with a lot of good information, life lessons and life skills from Hamm Camp, third, you can’t be afraid to get ran over or dunked on when taking sports photos.
Registration for Hamm Camp is free and you can register your child and learn more about the camp here. Thank you again for your time and commitment to reading my article I will always be grateful for your continued support. Be sure to hit the subscribe button at the top of this article for future articles fresh off the press! I invite you to join my network on LinkedIn, like the page The Image Czar, follow me on twitter, check out Czar Entertainment, and lets be friends on Facebook. Talk to you later!