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May 8, 2009

Bradshaw reaches out to kids with new camp

Dane Bradshaw seemingly has mastered the art of remaining a highly popular figure in Tennessee athletics even as the years roll by from his playing days as a fan-favorite on Tennessee's resurgent basketball teams under Bruce Pearl.

Now Bradshaw is finding a new way to reconnect with Vols fans and basketball players through a basketball camp. Bradshaw and former University of Tennessee football staff member Clint Dowdle, a four-year starter at Christian Brothers University and current director of football operation at Bowling Green State University, are conducting the Bradshaw-Dowdle Basketball Camp June 29-July 3 at Farragut Middle School in west Knoxville. The camp designed for players in the first through sixth grades will have an heavy emphasis on fundamentals and also include several current and former college and pro basketball players.

"This is just a great opportunity for me to give back to basketball," said Bradshaw. "People have always asked me if I will ever get into coaching. I'm still not sure, but one way I can stay involved in basketball in a very positive manner is to do a summer basketball camp that I know will be productive. Clint and I grew up in the same AAU program, and we both know how important it was to both of our careers and that it was an important reason for success. It all started with fundamentals at a young age at these types of camps, and I know how important it can be."

A member of the University of Tennessee's All-Century team and author of the narrative book "Vertical Leap" chronicling the ascension of Vols basketball under Pearl, Bradshaw has played professionally overseas and in semi-pro leagues in the Knoxville area. He was a four-year letterman at Tennessee and two-time team captain who currently is working to organize a Tennessee AAU program.

Dowdle was among Tennessee's brightest multi-sport prep stars at Evangelical Christian School, where he garnered Tennessee Mr. Football honors in 2000, guided ECS to consecutive state football crowns and was All-State in both sports. Dowdle ranked among the top 5 in the NCAA in assist:turnover ratio while at CBU and was hired earlier this year as the youngest director of football operations in all of Division I.

Like Bradshaw, he remembers the experience of that early camp and the role it had in his development as a player and person.

"Dane and I became real good friends when we were younger playing basketball and met at camp we're trying to model this one after. Even though I got into football, I played college basketball, always loved the game and Dane and I just put the idea together to try and do a camp similar to the one we had growing up," said Dowdle, a key figure during UT's transition from Phillip Fulmer to Lane Kiffin. "It was a fun camp but taught us a lot of fundamentals. It really helped my game but was fun. This is a great chance to work with the kids in the area. Dane and I really excited for it and definitely looking forward to coming back and spending a week in Tennessee."

The camp will run daily from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 29-July 3 at FMS and drinks will be provided. The cost is $170 for the week or $150 per camper for families with two or more interested participants.

Complete information and registration forms may be found online at www.bdhoops.com


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