For the love of the game and the Lord

Aug. 02, 2014 @ 07:48 PM

A session of the Hoopin' Eagles for Christ Basketball Camp wrapped up recently, and camp director Bruce White has been getting some good rest ever since.

That rest has less to do with White having been able to physically recover from days and days of delivering basketball instruction.

White is resting well because he was able to live out something he dreamed about.

“We're trying to get the kids to learn the fundamentals of basketball and increase their basketball IQs,” White said. “A lot of these kids, they don't understand the game of basketball anymore.”

It's not just basketball, though.

White was growing up in Durham when he took his talents from the Bull City to Christian Faith Center Academy in Creedmoor, where he joined the junior-varsity basketball team.

“Right when I was ready to start on varsity, I gave it up for ministry,” White said. “I let it go because I saw there was a greater need.”

White was 6 feet 5-inches tall in high school, and he'd tell you that he went to Christian Faith Center just to play basketball. Yet he said he'd soon learn that life is about more than putting a ball through a hoop. No, life's about hitting winning shots with respect to good values, strong character and discipline.

“That's where I tie the ministry part in,” White said.

White remained with CFC's basketball team, not as a player but more like a team chaplain, providing moral support for the guys and praying for them. White said some of the players placed their faith in Jesus Christ and were baptized as a result of his influence.

White finished up at CFC in 2002.  He is 30, married with kids and earns a living as a teacher assistant for students with autism.

But the basketball camp is his baby, his ministry. There's another session starting Monday and concluding Friday at Cresset Christian Academy. More information is at hoopineagles4christbasketballcamp.com.

At an earlier session of White's camp this summer, former North Carolina and NBA point guard Phil Ford dropped by to talk with the kids and give them some knowledge.

And here's the thing: White said he's not personal friends with Ford. White said it was just another example of God's favor causing things to work out for him decently and in order.

White is gathering school supplies for less-fortunate girls and boys who might not have crayons and notebook paper and whatnot when it's time for them to hit the books. He's accepting donations toward that end at the camp.