Former Shocker stars take time to camp with youngsters in Wichita

Xavier McDaniel went to one basketball camp as a youngster. A local lawyer paid his way to the camp in Georgia because, McDaniel said, his family couldn’t afford the price.

“That’s how I got recognized,” he said. “Somebody gave me an opportunity. That’s how I got discovered and I wound up being one of the top 100 players in the country.”

McDaniel is in Wichita this month, along with fellow former Shockers Cheese Johnson and Aubrey Sherrod, to help promote and work the Future All-American Basketball Camp that starts Monday at Next Level Hoops Academy in Bel Aire.

“This camp is about disadvantaged, low-income kids,” camp founder Jeff Hill said. “We want some kids that can’t afford to go to camp. We go out and raise the money from businesses to sponsor kids to these camps.”

Since most of those kids will not turn into the next Xavier McDaniel, there are educational and life-skill lessons built into the camp. For the three former Shockers, the week is about giving children time in a good environment that happens to use basketball as the lure.

“It gives them something constructive to do,” Johnson said. “You get to meet different people, so your network becomes a little bigger.”

For more information, contact Hill at 515-664-4474. The camp, for ages 7-16, runs from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. from Monday to June 29. Cost is $150.

▪  Former Shocker Ron Baker is holding camps at the Andover YMCA (July 21), Wichita’s South YMCA (July 22) and Garden City (July 23). For information go to

Paul Suellentrop: 316-269-6760, @paulsuellentrop