This particular basketball camp is not one dominated by whistles, sprints and lay-up lines. No, this camp teaches young ballers far more than playing defense with your palms up or being able to dribble with your left hand—it teaches them about life. Basketball in the Barrio, dedicated each year to El Paso boxing legend Rocky Galarza, is a day camp for boys and girls with the admission fee of just $1, a standard that has been embedded in the camp’s identity since 1997. Hall of Fame coach Nolan Richardson grew up playing in the Armijo Center in El Paso, TX where campers eagerly return to each July. The camp is run by Rus Bradburd, a writer, professor, former coach and elite dribbling coach who has worked with ballers like Jerryd Bayless, Shane Battier and others.
Last year we attended the the camp in person, as our E-i-C Ben Osborne detailed in SLAM 191. We couldn’t get to this year’s BITB, which featured an appearance by politically minded former NFL-player David Meggyesy as well as guests from Peace Players International and Borderlands Writing Project, but we did join Price’s Creameries, Cinco Puntos Press, El Paso Parks & Recreation, Hilton Garden Inn and Under Armour (who provided really dope new shirts) as this year’s camp sponsors.
Check out photos from this year’s camp, all courtesy of Jose P. Jones.